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. . . Ineos discovered a small hairline crack in the pipe at Red Moss near Netherley, just south of Aberdeen. This has forced Ineos as the operator to conduct a controlled shutdown of the pipeline.
John Corr of energy consultancy Westwood Global said a shutdown lasting 28 days on Forties would mean companies racking up gross revenue deferrals totalling £600million ($795million) at current oil prices.
. . . it looks like it will be a Merry Christmas and an even happier New Year for lawyers in the oil sector as traders reach for their contracts to see what can and cannot be done legally when force majeure is declared.
Speculation is rife about whether INEOS is being overly cautious by shutting down the whole system to deal with what appears to be a minor onshore leak in order to be able to pass back repair costs to the vendor. Others whisper darkly that if the onshore pipeline is showing hairline cracks how much worse must be the much larger web of offshore pipes?
In my opinion the North Sea oil infrastructure is not fit for purpose.