Taqa begins restart of UK brent oil flow
Abu Dhabi, January 19, 2013
Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) said it has begun the process of restoring the flow of an estimated 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in Britain's Brent pipeline system, which forms part of the global Brent oil benchmark.
The company said on Tuesday it had found an oil leak in one of the legs of the Cormorant Alpha oil platform in the North Sea, closing the site and the Brent pipeline system that handles a total of 90,000 bpd, as a precaution.
As Brent is one of the four North Sea oils used as a benchmark to price oil around the world, partly via Brent crude futures, the system's closure supported global prices on Wednesday when several other factors were weighing on them.
"Investigations have found there is no connection between the Brent pipeline system and the pipeline involved in the release," TAQA said in a statement on Wednesday.
"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."
Cormorant Alpha production, put at 10,000 bpd, remains closed while work on the platform leg continues, Taqa said.
The entire Brent system was expected to export around 135,000 bpd of oil this month, around 8 percent of British offshore oil production.
In an earlier update, Taqa said that none of the oil had been released into the environment and investigations continued to discover the source of the leak. "Measurements within the leg show that the volume released is small," said the earlier statement.
The installation is owned and operated by the UK arm of the Abu Dhabi National Energy Co, Taqa Bratani.-Reuters