Abu Dhabi's TAQA to resume North Sea oil flow

Energy firm says Cormorant Alpha platform operations set to be restored after shutdown

The Cormorant Alpha platform in the North Sea.

The Cormorant Alpha platform in the North Sea.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, also known as TAQA, has said it has begun the process of restoring the flow of an estimated 80,000 barrels per day of crude oil in the Brent pipeline system following a precautionary shutdown last weekend.

The pipeline system, which is operated by TAQA and runs through the Cormorant Alpha platform, was halted after a small hydrocarbon release in one of the platform’s legs was detected.

The company said in a statement that 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 statement said.

The hydrocarbons released were contained within the platform leg and none entered the environment. The leak has now been contained with no further oil release, it added.

Cormorant Alpha normally handles approximately 90,000 bpd of crude oil feeding the Brent pipeline system, including approximately 10,000 bpd in Cormorant Alpha production. Cormorant Alpha production remains closed while work on the platform leg continues.

There were 145 people on board Cormorant Alpha when the incident was discovered on Saturday.

Cormorant Alpha is operated by TAQA Bratani Ltd and is located 232 miles from Peterhead, Scotland and 94 miles from Lerwick in the Shetland Islands.

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