Flows restart in Brent pipeline system five days after Cormorant Alpha closure
07 March 2013
On March 7, a spokeswoman for TAQA Bratani, the operator of the Cormorant Alpha platform, said: “Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) has begun the process of restoring the flow of an estimated 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in the Brent pipeline system following a precautionary shutdown on March 2.
During the pipeline network shutdown, production at Shetland’s Sullom Voe oil terminal was halved
“The pipeline system, which is operated by TAQA and runs through, was halted after a small hydrocarbon release in one of the platform’s legs was detected.
“Investigations have found there is no connection between the Brent pipeline system and the pipeline involved in the release.
“The process of restarting Brent throughput follows a thorough technical evaluation that shows it is safe to do so without any increased risk to Cormorant Alpha.”
The Brent pipeline system pumps almost 10% of Britain's oil from 27 fields to Sullom Voe in Shetland, accounting for 37% of the terminal's input. During the pipeline network shutdown, production at Shetland’s Sullom Voe oil terminal was halved.
Cormorant Alpha production remains closed while work on the platform leg continues.
On March 5, the spokeswoman said that TAQA had invested £240 million in overhauling old infrastructure since it had purchased the North Sea assets of Shell in 2008. She said the current inspection was part of an 18 month programme of work at Cormorant Alpha and that the leak was caused by the inspection work.
“The oil has been contained within the leg, nothing has gone into the sea. No oil is leaking from the site anyway, just water.”
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