In this day and age, when UK oil and gas contractors and companies are struggling with plunging oil prices and the high cost of decommissioning mature wells in the North Sea, Ineos seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.
Ineos has announced that it has managed to strike a deal with BP to acquire the Forties Pipeline in the North Sea. The acquisition is worth £199 million.
The Forties Pipeline, which began operating in 1975, is responsible for transporting nearly 40 per cent of the UK’s oil and gas requirements. This amounts to a massive 450,000 barrels a day on average. The pipeline has the distinction of being the oldest in the UK, and it also launched the rush for oil in the North Sea.
The pipeline runs 235 miles and connects 85 oilfields in the North Sea to the UK mainland. It is also connected to the Ineos site located at Grangemouth. As part of the deal, the ownership of the gas processing unit will transfer to Ineos.
Previously, BP used to operate the Forties refinery, pipeline and oilfield. However, in 2003, BP sold the oilfield to Apache, and then in 2005, it sold the chemical plants and refinery to Ineos. The Forties Pipeline has around 300 employees based in Falkirk, Kinneil, Aberdeen, Dalmeny and offshore. These employees will move over to Ineos after the deal is completed.
Ineos Chairman Jim Ratcliffe stated that the North Sea offers numerous exciting opportunities to Ineos, and the Forties Pipeline is a strategic acquisition for the company as it will feed the petrochemical and oil refinery facilities located at Grangemouth.
Ratcliffe said that Ineos is renowned for acquiring assets that are not core its business, but the company still manages to boost its efficiency and also provides long-term investment opportunities and employment for the local population.