x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Taqa restoring oil flow after North Sea leak

Taqa Bratani is in the process of restoring throughput operations at a North Sea oil platform where a leak earlier in the week led to the shutdown of 10 per cent of Britain's daily oil production.

LONDON // Taqa Bratani is in the process of restoring throughput operations at a North Sea oil platform where a leak earlier in the week led to the shutdown of 10 per cent of Britain's daily oil production.

The UK subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) had been forced into a precautionary shutdown of the Cormorant Alpha platform after a leak of hydrocarbons was discovered in one of the platform's legs on Monday.

That in turn led to the closure of the Brent Crude Pipeline System, a system linking up 27 offshore platforms.

Oil and Gas UK, the UK's industry body, estimated the cost in lost production at US$10 million (Dh36.7m) per day.

Cormorant Alpha handles 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil of which 10,000 bpd are from the Cormorant field itself.

A spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that Taqa Bratani was in the process of restoring throughput of 80,000 bpd, after an investigation had concluded that the leak would not affect the broader pipeline system and was no threat to throughput operations at Cormorant Alpha.

"Investigations have found there is no connection between the Brent pipeline system and the pipeline involved in the release," a company statement said.

"The process of restarting Brent throughput follows a thorough technical evaluation that shows it is safe to do so without any increased risk to Cormorant Alpha."

There is no time-frame for how long it will take to get throughput back to 80,000 bpd. The resumption of full throughput also depends on operations at other platforms.

No one has been hurt in the incident, but 92 non-essential staff were evacuated by helicopter from the platform on Tuesday.

There was also no indication that the leak - confined to one leg of the platform - caused any environmental damage.

 

okarmi@thenational.ae