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Power cut at UK refinery will shut Forties – BP

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Reuters: UPDATE 1-Power cut at UK refinery will shut Forties – BP

Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:52am EDT

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) – Britain’s Forties oil pipeline will have to close if a power plant at the Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland stops running because of a strike, a spokesman for pipeline operator BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Thursday.

If the combined heat and power plant at Grangemouth, run by refinery operator Ineos, stops supplying BP’s Kinneil facility, it will not be able to send crude to the nearby Hound Point export site and the 700,000 barrel a day pipeline would have to close, he said.

“We are waiting for clarification from Ineos on whether power and steam, which is essential to keep our operations running, is going to be available to us after the (refinery) shutdown,” the spokesman said.

“Without the power and steam, we can’t keep the Kinneil operation running normally and so we would have to shut down,” he said, adding that the whole Forties Pipeline System (FPS) would close.

The FPS brings crude oil from the North Sea ashore and then down the east coast of Scotland to the Kinneil terminal, from where the oil is sent to the refinery or onto the Hound Point terminal where it is loaded onto tankers for export.

A complete pipeline closure would also effectively keep about 20 percent of the UK’s gas from being pumped from the oil and gas fields connected to the FPS.

But a spokesman for National Grid said on Thursday that the UK should remain comfortably supplied with gas because of low demand in mild weather and supplies available elsewhere.

(Reporting by Daniel Fineren; editing by Santosh Menon)

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