Strike at Scotland Refinery Forces BP to Shut a Pipeline
DATE:2008-4-29  FROM:  AUTHOR:  DOWN:2789
PARIS — Workers walked off the job Sunday at the only oil refinery in Scotland, requiring BP to close a pipeline that supplies about a third of Britain’s petroleum needs.

The strike at the site, the Ineos refinery in Grangemouth, began at 6 a.m., after workers of the Unite union and management were unable to agree on proposed pension changes. It was set to run for 48 hours.

The refinery’s power plant supplies steam and electricity to the nearby Kinneil plant, which processes oil and gas. With the strike, which halted the Kinneil site, BP was forced to close the pipeline, said Joanne McDonald, a spokeswoman for BP.

At the Kinneil plant, crude oil piped in from North Sea oil platforms is “stabilized” and natural gas is drawn off, before about 20 percent of the oil is pumped to the Ineos refinery for processing into fuel, McDonald said. That is enough to meet 30 percent to 35 percent of all British demand.

The remainder is loaded onto tankers to supply the world market, she said.

McDonald said the pipeline, known as the Forties Pipeline System, “would be operational again within 24 hours” of the projected end of the strike Tuesday

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