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Closure of Forties Pipeline System in the UK Leads to Biggest Industrial Decline Since 2012

The Grangemouth Oil Raffinery not far from the location of the incident (Copyright by Ineos)

For the second time in the past few months the Forties Pipeline System (FPS) in the UK has shut down due to the unexpected closure of the feed control valves on the pipeline supplying the Kinneil gas processing plant.

The closure has caused major disruption in the UK energy industry: Royal Dutch Shell said production at its Shearwater platform in the North Sea had been shut down as a result of the outage. The Nelson field, which also connects to the pipeline, had already been closed for maintenance, a spokesman said. Total said it had to stop gas exports from its Elgin Franklin terminal due to the Forties pipeline outage.

“When these valves close, then this requires FPS to shut down the pipeline system and its customers in the North Sea,” pipeline operator Ineos said. 450,000 barrels per day are shipped through the FPS.

Industrial output fell by 1.3 percent month-on-month in December, the biggest drop felt since September 2012. This followed a 0.3 percent rise in November according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Forties is the biggest of the five North Sea crude grades underpinning dated Brent, a benchmark used for oil trading in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

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