North Sea oil pipeline upgrade halted during pandemic

The company is concerned about bringing staff together to work on the upgrade during the coronavirus outbreak.

Ineos: The operator carries 30% of the UK's oil to Cruden Bay..
Ineos: The operator carries 30% of the UK's oil to Cruden Bay..

Plans to close and upgrade a North Sea oil pipeline have been put on hold because of the coronavirus crisis.

Chemicals giant Ineos was to shut the Forties Pipeline System (FPS) in June to upgrade it.

Now the shutdown of the pipeline has been delayed until at least August.

The delay is due to concerns about bringing the increased number of workers required for the upgrade together during the coronavirus pandemic.

A company statement said: “Ineos is mindful of the benefits of completing this project work to the future operation of FPS and the risks of not going ahead.

“However, it recognises the importance of maintaining a flow of oil and gas through FPS during the current situation.

“The company found that there was an overwhelming desire to delay the shutdown by its customers which it is responding to.

“In the coming days Ineos will continue to have discussions with its customers and other stakeholders to define the best dates to plan these projects.”

The Forties pipeline system is a major pipeline network in the North Sea.

It carries 30% of the UK’s oil every day to shore to a terminal in Cruden Bay.

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