Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA) has begun restoring the flow of an estimated 80,000 b/d of crude oil in the Brent pipeline system following a precautionary pipeline shutdown because of a hydrocarbon release into a platform leg on the Cormorant Alpha platform, which remains shutin.
The pipeline system and platform are operated by TAQA Bratani Ltd. Investigations found no connection between the Brent pipeline system and the pipeline involved in the release. The process of restarting Brent throughput follows a technical evaluation determining it is safe, TAQA said.
The hydrocarbons released are contained within the platform leg, and none have been released into the environment. Hydrocarbon levels in the leg have been continually monitored since the release was discovered, TAQA said, calling the release “small.”
Work is under way to mitigate the release of hydrocarbons, and preparations are being made to stop it and begin repairs.
Cormorant Alpha normally handles about 90,000 b/d of crude oil feeding the Brent pipeline system, including about 10,000 b/d in Cormorant field production. Cormorant production remains closed while work on the platform leg continues.
Cormorant Alpha is 232 miles from Peterhead, Scotland (OGJ Online, Jan. 16, 2013).