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London (AFP) Jan 16, 2013
A pipeline system servicing up to 27 oil fields has been shut following a platform leak in the North Sea, its Middle East operator said on Wednesday.
"Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (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" it said in a statement issued late in London on Tuesday.
Industry body Oil and Gas UK said oil transported through the pipeline system represented between five and six percent of Britain's North Sea oil and gas production.
TAQA said no hydrocarbons had been released into the environment.
"There are 159 people on board (the platform) and our number one priority is the safety and well-being of our people," it said in the statement.
"All those on board have been accounted for and they are all safe and well. We have stopped all non-essential work on the platform to focus all our efforts on addressing this issue. As a precaution, we will be taking all non-essential crew off the installation," it added.
Cormorant Alpha handles about 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, of which 42,600 bpd are produced by TAQA.
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