North Sea oil leak shuts down pipeline

A leak at an oil platform in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland has forced a pipeline and at least eight platforms to close and affected 27 oil fields, […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

A leak at an oil platform in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland has forced a pipeline and at least eight platforms to close and affected 27 oil fields, it was confirmed yesterday.

The leak at the Cormorant Alpha oil platform (pictured) which is located 232 miles offshore from Peterhead and 94 miles from Lerwick was detected on Monday afternoon.

A large number of fields feed into the Cormorant Alpha because it is a hub for the Brent Pipeline System, handling about 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil – including roughly 10,000 bpd from the Cormorant field – and connecting them to a depot on land.
The fields have closed as a precaution until the platform’s operator can pinpoint the source of the hydrocarbon release in the leg of the Cormorant Alpha platform.

The Abu Dhabi firm TAQA Bratani said in a statement today: “Hydrocarbon levels inside the platform leg have been continually monitored since the incident was discovered. The hydrocarbons are contained within the leg and none have been released into the environment. Investigations into the exact source of the hydrocarbons are still under way. Measurements within the leg show that the volume released is small.”

The Scottish Government said today it is monitoring the situation closely but expects minimum impact on UK oil supply.

Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism said: “No release of hydrocarbons has been reported and all non-essential staff on the platform have been safely removed.

“The Brent pipeline represents 6%-7% of UK supplies and this does not impact security of supply at this time. The Health and Safety Executive are investigating and will determine when the pipeline system can be opened again subject to any relevant safety measures being put in place.”