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U.K. North Sea Gas, Oil Fields to Shut for Work Next Month

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May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Natural-gas and oil fields in the U.K. North Sea will close for planned maintenance next month, cutting pipeline supplies to Britain.

“There’s a rolling program of maintenance throughout June,” Neil Burrows, a spokesman for BG Group Plc, the U.K.’s third-largest gas producer, said by telephone. The BP Plc-operated Central Area Transmission System will cut supplies due to work on platforms across the U.K. continental shelf, he said.

Reading, England-based BG Group’s Armada field sends gas production into CATS and pumps oil into the Forties Pipeline System. The Seymour, Maria, Everest and Lomond fields will all undergo planned maintenance, Burrows said. The CATS pipeline has a capacity of 48 million cubic meters of gas a day, or 12 percent of U.K. demand, according to its website.

CATS will undergo maintenance from June 6 but won’t halt flows completely, BP spokesman Matt Taylor said.

“The Andrew field will still be exporting,” Taylor said. There won’t be an export route for liquids, such as propane and butane, he said, due to maintenance by ConocoPhillips. Taylor declined to say how long the work will last.

Gas production from Conoco’s J-Block fields also flow through BP’s CATS pipeline into Teesside. Sandra Duncan, a Conoco spokeswoman in Aberdeen, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Available U.K. gas import capacity will fall to 553 million cubic meters a day in the week beginning June 2, down from 652 million two weeks earlier and the second-lowest level this year, according to a document on the website of National Grid Plc, the network manager.

“Most of the offshore platforms are taking their summer outages during June,” Paul Dobbie, a spokesman for the Teesside PX gas-processing plant, owned by PX Ltd., said in an e-mail.

Dobbie said PX will use the window to carry out its own maintenance and will be offline “for a short period.”

CATS, a 223-mile (359-kilometer) pipeline starts near BG’s Everest platform and reaches shore at Teesside, northeast England.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Farey in London at bfarey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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