UK-based chemicals multinational INEOS announced an investment of $1.3bn (£1bn) into the UK energy industry, including £500m into offshore operations in the North Sea.
The offshore investment is to overhaul the Forties Pipeline System (FPS), a 235-mile pipeline that links 85 North Sea oil and gas assets to the UK mainland. Opened in 1975, the FPS transports 40% of the UK’s oil and gas and is capable of transporting up to 600,000 barrels of oil per day.
The company’s plans for the FPS include increasing the system’s reliability, implementing newer technologies and modernising the environmental systems.
The investment is expected to extend the life of the pipeline by at least 20 years, ensuring it remains functional into the 2040s.
In a statement on its website, INEOS said: “This investment will rejuvenate FPS, delivering a long-term asset that meets the needs of North Sea oil and gas producers.”
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On 11December 2017, the FPS suffered an outage due to a crack in the pipeline that lasted until 30 December, causing global oil prices to rise significantly.
INEOS CEO Andrew Gardner said: “North Sea oil and gas producers are telling us that they want to be in the North Sea well into the 2040s so we are making this commitment to be there with them.
“Following acquisition of FPS in 2017 we are now embarking on a period of investment that will guarantee that the system can support them for decades to come.”
As well as the developments at the FPS, INEOS are to invest £350m into the development of the Grangemouth manufacturing site in Scotland. The remaining £150m will fund the construction of a new Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) plant in Hull.