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Britain's Largest Oil Pipeline Closed For The Second Time In Two Months
Feb 07, 2018

On Wednesday, Ford's pipeline, the country's largest and most important oil and gas pipeline, closed for the second time in two months, sparking concerns about the reliability of the global benchmark Brent crude infrastructure.


Oil pipeline operator Ineos said it plans to restart the pipeline last night.


The pipeline, which carries about 450,000 barrels of crude oil per day, was previously closed for about three weeks in mid-December last year due to a crack found.


As a result, Ineos announced a force majeure in exports and pointed out that the problem was out of control of the company, and the disruption pushed up global oil prices. The Ineos said in a note to clients Wednesday that the last shutdown was due to an accidental shutdown of the plumbing control valve supplied to the Kinneil gas processing plant.


The company said: "When these valves are closed, this requires the FPS (Fordis Pipeline System) to shut down the piping and its customers in the North Sea."


Fortis is the largest of the five major North Sea grades that make up spot Brent crude. Spot Brent crude is the benchmark for crude oil traded in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.


The system also transports one-third of British offshore gas production.


Oil prices rose about 50 cents / barrel after news of the pipeline closures, and then took the gains.


The wholesale price of natural gas in the United Kingdom was affected by the news. The price of on-time natural gas delivery rose 6% to 54p / kcal.


This pipe was originally used to transport oil from the huge Fortis field to shore. As time goes on, more oil and gas fields now exceed 50, linked to it.


Royal Dutch Shell said the North Sea Shearwater platform has been discontinued due to pipeline disruptions. A spokesman said the connected Nelson oilfield has been closed for maintenance.


Total said it had to stop its natural gas exports to Elgin Franklin terminals due to a disruption to the Fortis pipeline.