Forties Pipeline shutdown costing £20m a day

Trade body Oil & Gas UK said the shutdown by Ineos of its North Sea Forties Pipeline System has caused “significant issues” for the industry and that lost production is worth around £20 million per day.

Oil and gas prices soared after Ineos said it would shut down its Forties Pipeline System, which delivers almost 40% of the UK’s North Sea oil and gas output, to repair a crack in the pipe just south of Aberdeen.

Grangemouth refinery operator Ineos completed the acquisition of the North Sea Forties Pipeline System (FPS) and Kinneil Terminal from BP in October for $250 million.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “We have been in touch with Ineos and are closely monitoring the situation.

“The shutting down of the Forties pipeline does cause significant issues for our industry, financially, operationally and commercially – 40% of oil production is now shut in and the resulting lost production is worth around £20 million per day at current oil prices to industry.

“We hope this can be resolved safely and as quickly as possible.”

In an update on Wednesday, Ineos said: “Following controlled shutdown of the Forties Pipeline System on Monday … Ineos engineers and technicians continue to assess the latest inspection data from the small hairline crack in the pipeline at Red Moss near Netherley, south of Aberdeen.

“A number of repair options are currently being considered and progressed.

“At this stage, it is still too early to say how quickly the repair will take at this point but it is expected to be a matter of weeks rather than days.

“For the time being, the 300 metre cordon set-up at the site remains in place.

“The results of the inspections will determine how long the precautionary safety cordon has to remain in place.

“Safety remains our highest priority and local residents, FPS customers and other stakeholders are all being kept fully informed of the situation as it develops.

“We continue to work closely with Government and other stakeholders including the local authorities to minimise the impact of the closure as far as possible on communities, our customers and the country.

“We apologise to our customers and communities for the issues that this creates.”