LONDON (Reuters) - The Forties North Sea crude oil pipeline looks set to continue running during a strike at the Grangemouth refinery and petrochemical plant next week, after operator Ineos said on Saturday that it would accept the Union's offer to provide safety cover.
It was thought that the shutdown was likely to force a closure of the North Sea's Forties Pipeline System as the Kinneil oil processing terminal, where oil from the Forties field comes ashore, relies on Grangemouth for its steam and power.
A union source said on Friday that the company had turned down an offer to enable the pipeline to keep running.
"Ineos is delighted that this offer is now being made, albeit through the media. This offer will mean that Ineos can maintain North Sea oil flows and fuel supplies to the people of Scotland," Ineos said in a statement.
"What has been offered by us is the facility to keep all assets on "hot standby" during any strike action, and this would result in steam available for the North Sea," a union source said on Saturday.
The flow of Forties is very important to the Brent crude oil futures price, as it is one of the four grades of oil that underpins it.
Grangemouth is a 210,000 barrel per day refinery that provides most of Scotland's fuel requirements.
(Reporting by Simon Falush; editing by Ron Askew)