Kinneil Terminal

(Kinneil Oil and Gas Processing Plant)

An oil stabilisation and gas separation plant which represents the end of the Forties Pipeline System, which transports crude oil 238 miles (384 km) from the Central North Sea, the Kinneil Terminal is located in the Kerse of Kinneil, on the opposite bank of the River Avon from the Grangemouth Oil Refinery, 2 miles (3 km) east southeast of Grangemouth and 2½ miles (4 km) west of Bo'ness. A 0.9-m (36-inch) seabed pipeline brings oil from more than thirty offshore production platforms to a landfall at Cruden Bay on the NE coast of Scotland. The Cruden Bay Booster Station mixes the oil with liquified gas from the St. Fergus Gas Terminal which is then pumped south through an underground pipeline to Kinneil, via further booster pumping stations at Netherley, Brechin and Balbeggie. Commissioned in 1975 by BP, the terminal has a capacity of more than one million barrels of oil per day, representing around 40% of the total UK oil production. It was sold to chemical giant INEOS in 2017 for $250 million, which had bought the Grangemouth Refinery twelve years previously.

The process extracts the gaseous hydrocarbons, which are further processed at Grangemouth, and removes water, stabilises and sweetens the oil by removing hydrogen sulphide, thus making the crude oil safe for further processing and shipment in tankers. Much of the oil is then passed to the Grangemouth Refinery, with a proportion piped to the Dalmeny tank-farm for export via the Hound Point Terminal. Some gas is consumed at Grangemouth as feedstock for petrochemical production or as fuel gas. Propane and butane are exported via a refrigerated LPG storage and export terminal at Grangemouth Docks.

The terminal employs around 90 staff and the Forties Pipeline Control Centre at Kinneil is manned 24 hours per day.

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