Oil leak closes North Sea oil pipeline

 

A leak on a North Sea platform has forced the closure of a major pipeline system supplying UK oil, it has emerged.

The Brent pipeline system, which services up to 27 oil fields, was shut after oil was detected in one of the legs of the Cormorant Alpha platform off Shetland.

Workers have been airlifted off the rig as a technical team investigates.

Platform operator TAQA said yesterday the installation and all pipeline infrastructure had been shut as a precaution.

The Brent has been closed and eight other platforms in the area have had to cease production, the Press and Journal reported, stopping the flow of 90,000 barrels a day.

Oil transported through the Brent is said to represent between 5% and 6% of the UK's North Sea oil and gas production.

Professor Alex Kemp, an oil economist at Aberdeen University, said the closure would have a limited impact on oil prices.

He told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "What we have is an incident which impacts on the Brent pricing system which is used as a marker price for a lot of the world's production.

"If it continues one would expect a limited affect on the Brent price.

"But the Brent price doesn't just depend on Brent production, it depends on production from a lot of other fields.

"The effect should be limited because although the Brent price is the marker for a huge volume of oil in the world market, Brent production constitutes not all that big a proportion of the total."

A TAQA spokeswoman said arrangements were made for 92 people to be taken off the Cormorant Alpha, 94 miles from Lerwick, yesterday.

A statement from TAQA said: "Our number one priority is the safety and well-being of our people.

"We have stopped all non-essential work on the platform to focus all our efforts on addressing this issue."

Of the 90,000 barrels a day handled by the Cormorant Alpha, 42,600 are produced by Abu Dhabi energy company TAQA, which took over the platform in 2009.

Scotland's Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, said: "The Scottish Government, including Marine Scotland, are monitoring this situation closely. No release of hydrocarbons has been reported and all non-essential staff on the platform have been safely removed.

"The Brent pipeline represents 6% to 7% of UK supplies and this does not impact security of supply at this time.

"The Health and Safety Executive are investigating and will determine when the pipeline system can be opened again, subject to any relevant safety measures being put in place."

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Associate - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL FIRM - A...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Law Costs - London City

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - EXCELLENT FIRM - We have an outstandin...

Austen Lloyd: In-House Solicitor / Company Secretary - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: IN-HOUSE - NATIONAL CHARITY - An exciting and...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee