Owners of Forties Pipeline, INEOS have confirmed that it will be shut for some weeks following the discovery of small hairline crack in the pipe at Red Moss near Netherley, just south of Aberdeen.
The company said a repair and oil spill response team was mobilised on Wednesday, December 6, after a very small amount of oil seepage was reported. Measures to contain the seepage were put in place, no oil has been detected entering the environment and the pipe has been continuously monitored.
A 300 metre cordon was set-up and a small number of local residents were placed in temporary accommodation as precautionary measure.
The pipeline pressure was reduced while a full assessment of the situation was made. Despite reducing the pressure the crack has extended, and as a consequence the Incident Management Team decided a controlled shutdown of the pipeline was the safest way to proceed. That procedure was completed safely overnight.
INEOS said its engineers are assessing a number of options to determine the best way forward based on the latest inspection data. The results of the inspections will determine how long the precautionary safety cordon has to remain in place.
It also noted that I cannot guarantee how long the repair works at Forties pipeline will take. “It is too soon to say how quickly the repair will take at this point but it is expected to be a matter of weeks rather than days. We are working closely with Government and other stakeholders to minimise the impact of the closure as far as possible on communities, our customers and the country.”