Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Any limitations to the flow of oil and natural gas from the North Sea to the Forties pipeline system are now lifted, system operator Ineos said Thursday.
Ineos shut down the Forties pipeline system from the North Sea to inland refineries on Dec. 11 after discovering a hairline crack on infrastructure near Aberdeen, Scotland. The system carries about 40 percent of the production from the British waters of the North Sea.
The company said Thursday repairs to the pipeline are mechanically completed and it was progressing on the gradual full restart of the system.
"All restrictions on the flow of oil and gas from platforms feeding into the pipeline system have been fully lifted," the company said in a statement. "All customers and control rooms have now been informed."
Ineos confirmed a formal declaration of force majeure in mid-December on all contracts for the system after a number of fields closed as a result of the disruption. Force majeure is a contractual condition related to circumstances beyond the control of the parties involved.
The Forties system carries Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk oils, which account for the basket that make up the global benchmark for the price of oil.
Ineos paid BP around $250 million to acquire the 235-mile Forties pipeline system earlier this year. The owner has yet to disclose any financial data related to the closure.
Days after it closed, Deirdre Michie, the chief executive at trade group Oil & Gas U.K., said the outage was a devastating blow to the regional energy industry. Shutting down the system had sweeping impacts across a wide-range of business sectors. At current market rates, Michie estimated about $26 million per day was lost in production alone.