March 2018, Vol. 245, No. 3

Features

Forties Pipeline System Shutdown

On Dec. 11, a hairline crack 5 to 6 inches long was detected during a routine inspection of the Forties Pipeline System (FPS) near Netherley, just south of Aberdeen, Scotland. As a result, the pipeline’s new owner, Ineos, announced a shut-down, anticipating weeks for repairs. The suspension of this pipeline, with an average daily throughput of 445,000 bpd from 80-plus fields in the North Sea, caused future prices for Brent crude deliverable in February and March to rise above $65 a barrel, before falling back. Brent crude is the benchmark for pricing much of the world’s seaborne crude and is partly priced on the flow of crude from the FPS. The pipeline also carries one-tenth of Britain’s n

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