Ineos: Forties to return to normal rates ‘early in the new year’

A small number of customers of the Forties pipeline system are sending oil and gas through the pipeline following a recent stoppage due to a hairline crack. 

Ineos, the operator of the pipeline, said last week that the repair works on the pipeline which has been closed since December 11 would be completed around Christmas.

On Monday, December 25 the company said it continues to make good progress towards the restart of the Forties pipeline.

According to the company, the repair of the pipeline at Red Moss is now mechanically complete and pressure testing is well underway.

A small number of customers are now sending oil and gas through the pipeline at low rates as part of a coordinated plan that allows Ineos to carefully control the flow and pressure in  the system.

Once the pressure in the system is stable, Ineos will initiate the steps necessary to start re-commissioning the Kinneil facility, which is expected to begin in the next 24 hours. It is expected that there will be increased flaring at the site as the company begins restarting the system.

Based on current estimates, the company expects to bring the pipeline and Kinneil progressively back to normal rates early in the new year.

To remind, a number of oil and gas companies have been forced to shut down their production from UK North Sea platforms due to the pipeline shutdown. Namely, Serica Energy has reduced its yearly output guidance as its only producing field, the Erskine, uses the FPS as the export route for Erskine condensate. Shell has suspended production from the Shearwater and Nelson platforms in the central North Sea and Nexen has temporarily ceased production from the Buzzard and Scott platforms in the North Sea.

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