A leak on a North Sea platform off Shetland forced the closure of a major pipeline system supplying Britain's oil, it emerged today.
The Brent pipeline system, which services up to 27 oil fields, was shut after oil was detected in one of the legs of the Cormorant Alpha platform.
Workers were airlifted off the rig as a technical team investigated.
Platform operator Taqa said the installation and all pipeline infrastructure had been shut as a precaution.
Scotland Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: "The Scottish government, including Marine Scotland, are monitoring this situation closely.
"No release of hydrocarbons has been reported and all non-essential staff on the platform have been safely removed.
"The Brent pipeline represents 6 to 7 per cent of UK supplies and this does not impact security of supply at this time.
"The Health and Safety Executive are investigating and will determine when the pipeline system can be opened again, subject to any relevant safety measures being put in place."
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