January 4, 2018 / 4:13 PM / 15 days ago

UK safety regulator investigating Forties pipeline outage

LONDON (Reuters) - A British safety regulator said on Thursday it is investigating the circumstances that led to a three-week outage of a major North Sea pipeline in December.

The Health and Safety Executive said in a statement it had carried out inspections during the repairs of Ineos’ 450,000 barrels per day Forties Pipeline which was shut down on Dec. 11 following the discovery of a hairline crack.

The inspectors “were satisfied that Ineos had carried out the work safely and to appropriate standards,” it said.

“HSE’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident is on-going.”

Forties plays an important role in the global market as it is the biggest of the five North Sea crude streams underpinning Brent, a benchmark used for oil trading in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Reporting by Ron Bousso, editing by David Evans

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