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North Sea oil pipeline remains closed

March 6, 2013 at 5:57 AM

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, March 6 (UPI) -- The Brent crude oil pipeline system in the North Sea will reopen only after internal safety checks confirm its safe to do so, said operator Taqa.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., known also as Taqa, shut the pipeline system last weekend after discovering a small oil release from its Cormorant Alpha platform, the second such incident this year.

A company spokeswoman told the Platts news service Taqa has to conduct safety checks before it can send oil through the pipeline system again.

"It will only be reopened when we are entirely satisfied that is it safe to do so," the spokeswoman said.

The Brent pipeline system sends as much as 100,000 barrels of oil per day from about two dozen oil fields in the North Sea to a processing terminal in Scotland. The Cormorant Alpha platform is about 110 miles offshore.

The company pulled 71 non-essential personnel, about half the workforce, from the platform and closed the facility down as a precaution Saturday. No injuries were reported on the North Sea platform and no spill volume was indicated.

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