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Top UK oil field Buzzard to restart mid-December after repair: Nexen

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UK's Forties pipeline shutdown adds to North Sea disruption

Top UK oil field Buzzard to restart mid-December after repair: Nexen

London — China-owned Nexen expects to complete repairs and restart production at the UK's largest producing oil field Buzzard in mid-December, it said Friday.

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Buzzard, which produced around 130,000 b/d of crude in the first six months of 2018 and feeds the country's main export stream, Forties, has been shut down for more than two weeks due to corroded pipework discovered on the facility's "topsides."

"We anticipate that production on Buzzard will restart mid-December," Nexen, a Calgary-based subsidiary of CNOOC, told S&P Global Platts.

Buzzard accounts for around 13% of UK oil production, or about 30% of Forties flows, loaded at Hound Point on the Scottish coast. In recent years much of the crude has been bound for Asian markets.

A planned inspection identified "corrosion under insulation," a common problem at North Sea facilities, and no spill or injuries had occurred, Nexen said on November 26.

Forties is one of the crude blends used by Platts in its Dated Brent price assessment.

--Nick Coleman,

--Edited by Maurice Geller,