Abu Dhabi's Taqa shuts down North Sea oil platform

Closure follows discovery of oil within leg of UK North Sea platform, although Taqa says there was no environmental spill.

Abu Dhabi's Taqa confirmed the shutdown of one of its platforms in the UK North Sea, after discovering oil within a platform leg, however there was no environmental spill, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Taqa can confirm that an indication of hydrocarbons was detected in one of the legs of the Cormorant Alpha platform in the northern UK North Sea on January 14," said the statement on the company's website.

Cormorant Alpha handles approximately 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, of which 42,600 bpd are produced by Taqa.

"It was hydrocarbons, ie oil, found in one of the platform legs. There has not been any gas release," a Taqa spokeswoman in the UK told Reuters.

As a precautionary measure the platform and all the pipeline infrastructure have been shut down, the statement said adding that there was no leak into the environment.

Around 160 people work on board the platform and no incidents have been reported.

The installation is owned and operated by the UK arm of the Abu Dhabi National Energy Co, Taqa Bratani Ltd and is located 232 miles from Peterhead and 94 miles from Lerwick.

The Brent system is jointly owned by 21 companies. It consists of part of the processing systems and structure on the Cormorant Alpha platform, operated by Taqa, as well as a 150km pipeline connecting Cormorant Alpha to the BP operated Sullom Voe Oil Terminal in the Shetland Islands. Taqa owns a 24 per cent share of that terminal.

The Brent System is responsible for transporting oil from around 20 North Sea oilfields, accounting for about 37 per cent of the Sullom Voe Terminal input and around 8 per cent of British offshore oil production.