Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) has closed the Cormorant Alpha platform and 27 associated pipeline oil fields in the northern UK North Sea, after hydrocarbons were detected in one of the platform legs.
TAQA said that it has contained the hydrocarbons within the platform leg and ensured that nothing leaked into the sea, while a technical team has started investigating the source of the leak.
As a precautionary measure, the company has called-off all non-essential work on the platform, located 100 miles from north-east of Shetland.
The company said that all 159 non-essential crew onboard are safe and are being moved off the installation with the help of a helicopter.
It is estimated that the fields affected, and eight other associated platforms, which includes Dunlin, Thistle, Northern Producer, Murchison, North Alwyn, Tern, Eider and North Cormorant, produce about six percent of the UK’s total oil and gas output, reported the BBC.
The closing of the platform, located 232 miles from Peterhead and 94 miles from Lerwick, is expected to affect the entire Brent pipeline system. Owned and operated by TAQA Bratani, the Cormorant Alpha platform handles about 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, of which 42,600 bpd are produced by TAQA.
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Image: Cormorant Alpha – North Sea Platform, UK. Photo courtesy of TAQA.