Fixing Forties

22 Dec 2017;

On Monday 11 December, the Forties Pipeline System (FPS) in the North Sea was closed for repairs.  The 235-mile pipeline transports about 450,000 barrels of oil per day (b/d) on average, which is about 40% of UK production.  It is one of the oldest pipeline systems in the North Sea.  It started operating in the Forties field in 1975 and links 85 North Sea oil and gas fields to facilities on the UK mainland, including the Hound Point export terminal and the 201,000 b/d Grangemouth refinery.  BP originally operated the Forties oil and gas field, the pipeline and the refinery.  It sold its interest in the oil field to Apache in 2003 and Ineos bought the Grangemouth refinery and chemical plant in 2005.  Earlier this year, Ineos also bought the FPS from BP for a reported $250 million.  The FPS is not expected to reopen until January 2018 and in this Weekly Opinion we will assess the potential impact on the tanker markets of this significant disruption.

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