Oil flows via UK Brent pipeline back to 80,000 BPD - TAQA

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The Cormorant Alpha platform in the North Sea.

The Cormorant Alpha platform in the North Sea.

The flow of crude oil through the UK's Brent pipeline system in the North Sea was back up to 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) late on Monday, following a precautionary shutdown last week, Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) said.

The Brent pipeline system typically carries 90,000 bpd of oil from several fields off Scotland, but TAQA's 10,000 bpd Cormorant Alpha platform remains shut due to an oil leak in one of its legs.

"Flow in the Brent pipeline system has now been restored up to levels around 80,000 bpd. This is pretty much full flow rate minus Cormorant Alpha production which is still shut down," a company spokesman said in an email.

TAQA said on January 15 it had closed the Brent pipeline system as a precaution after discovering oil in one of the legs of Cormorant Alpha.

On January 16 it said the Brent system was safe to use and small volumes of oil began flowing the next day as field operators relying on the pipeline network brought them back into production.

As Brent is one of the four North Sea oils used as a benchmark to price oil around the world, partly via Brent crude futures, the system's closure supported global prices in the middle of last week when other factors were weighing on oil.

The Brent system is jointly owned by 21 companies. It consists of part of the processing systems and structure on the Cormorant Alpha platform, operated by TAQA, as well as a 150 km pipeline connecting Cormorant Alpha to the BP-operated Sullom Voe Oil Terminal in the Shetland Islands.

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