Forties pipeline 'will be shut down for weeks rather than days'

Cracked pipelineImage copyright

One of the UK’s most important oil pipelines is still expected to be shut down for “weeks rather than days”, as first images of the repair site were released.

The Forties pipeline carries crude North Sea oil across land for processing at Grangemouth.

The crack was discovered last week at near Netherley in Aberdeenshire and a 300m safety cordon is in place.

Pipeline owner Ineos apologised to “our customers and communities”.

The Forties pipeline carries about 40% of North Sea crude oil.

‘Minimise impact’

A controlled shutdown of the pipeline was completed overnight.

More than 80 platforms are having to suspend production.

Ineos said in a statement on Tuesday: “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.”

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