Oil has begun flowing through a major pipeline again as experts test repairs to a crack which forced a major shutdown.
A leak in the 235-mile Forties Pipeline System (FPS) was found between Cookney and Netherley earlier this month, forcing owner Ineos to shut down the line, which delivers almost 40% of the UK’s North Sea oil and gas.
Yesterday the firm said repairs were now “mechanically complete” though a cordon restricting access to the country road connecting the two communities remains in place.
A spokesman said the pipeline could reopen in the beginning of January.
He said: “The repair of the pipeline is now mechanically complete and pressure testing is well under way.”
He explained that Ineos will continue to work with the emergency services and other authorities until the issue has been resolved.
The 150-metre safety cordon will remain in place while pressure testing continues.
The spokesman added: “For the time being, the unclassified Netherley to Cookney road, which passes close to the site, remains closed by the police.
“We apologise to our customers and the local community for the issues that this creates.”