Forties pipeline crack safety cordon reduced by half

Image source, Ineos

A safety cordon around one of the UK's most important oil pipelines has been halved as a crack which was discovered has not grown.

The Forties pipeline carries crude North Sea oil across sea and land for processing at Grangemouth.

The crack was discovered last week near Netherley in Aberdeenshire and a 300m safety cordon was in place.

Operator Ineos said the crack had not grown for 48 hours, so the safety cordon had been reduced to 150m.

Residents who had chosen to leave as a result have now returned home.

The repair options are still being assessed, but it is still expected to take weeks rather than days.

Industry body Oil and Gas UK has said the resulting lost production is worth around £20m per day.

More than 80 platforms have had to suspend production.

The unclassified Netherley to Cookney road remains closed.