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The price of oil hit a 30-month high today after the owner of a major North Sea pipeline said it could be shut for as long as three weeks.
Brent crude oil prices spiked more than one per cent today to break $65 a barrel and reach their highest level since mid-2015 after the major Forties pipeline in the North Sea was shut down for repairs yesterday.
Brent was last above $65 per barrel in June 2015.
Ineos, which recently became the owner of the pipeline, said a shutdown was the safest way forward after a small hairline crack was found in the pipeline, which carries about 450,000 barrels per day, or 40 per cent of UK production.
Tom Crotty, a director at Ineos, said the biggest impact so far was the financial one on oil and gasfields that use the 235-mile pipeline. “It’s very expensive for us and our shippers. That’s where the real hit is here. We are losing a lot of money on a daily basis,” he told media.
The company took ownership of the pipeline system on 31st October after paying £200m to BP. Crotty said it was impossible to say whether the crack had occurred while under BP’s ownership or Ineos’s, but it could have happened under either .