North Sea Brent pipeline back in service following platform leak

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK – TAQA Bratani has reopened the Brent oil pipeline system in the UK northern North Sea following a precautionary shutdown on Monday.

The system, which runs through the Cormorant Alpha platform, was halted after hydrocarbons were detected inside one of the platform’s legs. This also necessitated shutdown of numerous other third-party fields that export their oil via the Brent system.

The re-start process followed a comprehensive technical and safety evaluation, TAQA says.

Normally about 90,000 b/d of crude feeds through the Brent system, including 10,000 b/d from Cormorant Alpha. Total flow is expected to rise gradually to 80,000 b/d as the other platforms resume normal operations.

However, Cormorant Alpha production remains shut in while the evaluation process and work on the platform leg continues. The hydrocarbons released are fully contained within the Cormorant Alpha platform leg, TAQA says, with no leak outside the leg.

The focus to date has been on mitigating the release. Planning is under way for repair of the affected line, which is not connected to the Brent pipeline system.

There were 159 people on board Cormorant Alpha at the time of the incident. All are accounted for and safe.

Cormorant Alpha is 94 mi (151 km) from Lerwick in the Shetland Islands.

1/18/2013

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