Esso pipeline reopens after fuel theft

Investigations in the Hampshire countryside A tapping device was found on the Midline Pipeline at West Wellow

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One of the UK's main underground pipelines has reopened after the theft of 30,000 litres of diesel.

A tapping device was discovered on Esso's Midline Pipeline after police found the stolen fuel at a nearby industrial storage unit at West Wellow, near Romsey, in Hampshire on 17 April.

Esso said operations had resumed "following repairs and tests".

Two men, aged 32 and 34, both from Salisbury, were arrested and bailed on suspicion of conspiracy to steal fuel.

They are due to answer bail on 10 July, pending further inquiries.

The Midline Pipeline runs underground between Esso's refinery at Fawley, near Southampton, to its terminal in Birmingham.

Following the discovery of the theft, Esso said there was "no leak of product" from the pipeline, which was closed as a precaution.

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