Major pipeline to Sullom Voe closed

A pipeline to the Sullom Voe oil terminal has been shut after a leak was found in an offshore installation.

The closure of the Brent pipeline follows the discovery of an oil leak on the Cormorant Alpha platform, 94 miles east of the isles on Monday afternoon. There were 159 people onboard at the time.

The pipeline serves up to 27 oil fields which – combined with another eight associated platforms – produce up to six per cent of the UK’s oil and gas output. It is believed the Cormorant Alpha normally acts as a crucial pumping station for the Brent system.

The incident has prompted concerns output from the Sullom Voe oil terminal may be badly affected, which could impact on the port’s revenue should the shut-down continue over a lengthy period.

However a spokeswoman for the terminal said the situation was being monitored, and there were “currently no impact on terminal operations”.

Cormorant Alpha’s operator Taqa Bratani removed all non-essential workers by helicopter after the discovery of the leak in one of the platform’s giant legs.

Hydrocarbon levels have been “continually monitored”, and the company says none of the oil has been leaked into the environment.

A team of technical experts is investigating the source.

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