BP Plc, the largest U.K. oil company, will shut down its Forties Pipeline System located in the U.K North Sea by 5:00 a.m. GMT Sunday due to a strike in a refinery which provides its power, BP reported on Saturday.
The pipeline system, which carries 700 barrels of oil per day, supplies 40 percent of the oil produced in the U.K. and 25 percent of its gas through connections to dozens of offshore fields in the North Sea. It will be shut down since its electricity and steam is provided by the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland which will begin a 2-day labor strike on Sunday.
The Grangemouth oil refinery produces 210,000 barrels a day. The work stoppage is expected to reduce energy supplies significantly. So far, news of the coming strike has notably lifted prices of oil in the futures market in London and New York.
For the U.K. economy, the effects of the strike could cost 50 million pounds a day, according to industry body Oil and Gas U.K. in a statement released Thursday.
Ineos Group, which owns the refinery, confirmed the shutdown of the plant was completed yesterday as it prepares for the labor strike. In Scotland some gas stations have ran out of fuel supplies and drivers were filling its tanks to prevent a drought.
Grangemouth supplies nearly 95 percent of the fuel used in Scotland's central belt, including its capital, Edinburgh, and biggest city, Glasgow.
In light of the situation, the British government has urged drivers not to hoard gasoline saying supplies are enough to satisfy demand despite the strike at the refinery in Scotland.
The last time the Grangemouth oil refinery was completely shut down was during World War II, according to Ineos Group.