TAQA says UK oil flows resume after shutdown

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company announces restart in North Sea operations
The Cormorant Alpha platform in the North Sea.
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 18 Jan 2013 09:46 AM

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, also known as TAQA, has announced that initial flows of crude oil have resumed in the Brent pipeline system following a precautionary shutdown on Monday.

The pipeline system, which is operated by TAQA and runs through the Cormorant Alpha platform, was halted after hydrocarbons were detected inside one of the platform’s legs.

The process of restarting the Brent pipeline system followed a thorough technical evaluation and safety assessment, TAQA said in a statement.

The Cormorant Alpha platform normally handles about 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil feeding the Brent pipeline system, including approximately 10,000 bpd of Cormorant Alpha production.

Crude oil flows in the Brent pipeline system are expected to rise to approximately 80,000 bpd as other platforms in the Brent system return to normal operations, it added.

Cormorant Alpha production remains closed while evaluations and work on the platform leg continues, TAQA said.

"The hydrocarbons released are fully contained within the Cormorant Alpha platform leg, and there has been no leak to the external environment. Work so far has mitigated the release and plans are being assessed for the repair of the affected line, which is not connected to the Brent pipeline system," the statement said.

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.

It also handles oil from the Dunlin, Thistle, Northern producer, Murchison, North Alwyn, Tern, Eider and North Cormorant Platforms.

The Brent System is responsible for transporting oil from around 20 North Sea oilfields, accounting for about 37 percent of the Sullom Voe Terminal input and around 8 percent of British offshore oil production.

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