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Key North Sea oil rig closed for maintenance

May 6, 2013 at 7:39 AM

LONDON, May 6 (UPI) -- A North Sea oil platform servicing the 90,000 barrel-per-day Brent oil pipeline will be closed for a few months for maintenance, the rig's operator said.

The Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., known also as Taqa, closed the Brent pipeline system briefly in March after an oil release from the base of its Cormorant Alpha platform in the North Sea.

The pipeline system delivers oil 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 March 2 incident was the second this year, though no injuries or major spill volumes were reported.

Taqa British Managing Director Leo Koot told The Daily Telegraph there was natural gas associated with North Sea oil, meaning there was an explosion risk should further incidents occur.

Taqa said in a statement it wasn't closing the pipeline system as part of a refinery upgrade but could do so on a temporary basis in the future.

"There is still substantial work to be performed in the platform legs," it said Monday. "This will take months to complete."

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