The UK’s Sullom Voe terminal, loading point for Brent crude, has been shut down due to a “minor defect” at the terminal, EnQuest, which operates the facility on the Shetland Islands, said Thursday.
The Brent pipeline to the Shetland Islands, together with the lesser Ninian pipeline, typically carry nearly 100,000 b/d of crude, and contribute to the Dated Brent benchmark.
In statements to Platts, EnQuest said it would keep informed the oil producing companies that send crude to the terminal, and expected to restart the pipeline on Sunday, May 6.
It added there were “no issues with tanker loading as a result of the pipeline shutdown.”
Explaining the disruption, EnQuest said: “On May 1, during a routine visual inspection of the process pipework within the Sullom Voe Terminal, a minor defect was identified requiring immediate remedial work, which is underway. With safety as our top priority, we carried out a controlled shutdown of the incoming Brent and Ninian pipeline systems.”
“There is no risk to people and no impact to the environment.”
At least three cargoes in the June Brent Blend loading program were deferred on Wednesday, as unofficial reports of disruption emerged.
The UAE’s Taqa, which typically produces 15,000 b/d of oil, shipped via the Brent pipeline, had already announced plans for several weeks of field maintenance in June, among other companies preparing seasonal maintenance.
EnQuest took over operatorship of Sullom Voe from BP in December 2017.