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Abu Dhabi national oil company TAQA reported late Wednesday that its North Sea-focused subsidiary TAQA Bratani has begun the process of restoring the flow of an estimated 80,000 barrels per day of crude oil in the Brent pipeline system, following a precautionary shutdown on Monday.
Earlier Wednesday, trade body Oil & Gas UK said that it had estimated 10 percent of UK oil production had been affected by the shutdown.
The pipeline system, which is operated by TAQA, was halted after what the company described as a "small hydrocarbons release" in one of the legs of its Cormorant Alpha platform. TAQA added that investigations found there is no connection between the Brent pipeline system and the pipeline involved in the release, and that the process of restarting Brent throughput has followed a thorough technical evaluation that shows it is safe to do so without any increased risk to Cormorant Alpha.
Cormorant Alpha normally handles about 90,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) of crude oil feeding the Brent pipeline system, including approximately 10,000 bopd in Cormorant Alpha production. Cormorant Alpha production remains closed while work on the platform leg continues.
There were 159 people on board Cormorant Alpha when the incident was discovered Monday. On Tuesday, 92 non-core personnel left the platform and three specialists came aboard to help resolve the incident. All these people are accounted for and safe.
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