North Sea pipeline network shut after leak on Cormorant Alpha platform
16 January 2013
The Brent pipeline system, which services up to 27 North Sea oil fields, has been shut down after a leak on the Cormorant Alpha platform, 95 miles north-east of Shetland. Oil and Gas UK - the offshore industry body - said oil transported through the Brent system represented between 5% and 6% of the UK's North Sea oil and gas production.
Cormorant Alpha normally produces approximately 90,000 barrels of oil per day
A spokeswoman for platform operator Taqa Bratani, part of the Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., said: “Taqa can confirm that an indication of hydrocarbons was detected in one of the legs of the Cormorant Alpha platform in the northern UK North Sea on 14 January.
“Since the discovery, hydrocarbon levels have been continually monitored. The platform and all pipeline infrastructure have been shut down as a precaution. The hydrocarbons are contained within the platform leg and none have been released into the environment. A technical team is investigating the source of the hydrocarbons.”
The company said all non-essential workers have been airlifted from the platform but that the leak has now been contained.
Cormorant Alpha is a crucial pumping station on the Brent pipeline network. Some 27 North Sea oilfields have been affected and eight other platforms have shut down: Dunlin, Thistle, Northern Producer, Murchison, North Alwyn, Tern, Eider and North Cormorant.
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