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Exxon shuts UK pipeline after oil theft

Published time: April 21, 2014 19:40
Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

Esso, the UK unit of oil giant Exxon, have closed down an oil pipeline and two suspects have been arrested after thieves tapped into one of the country’s main underground transit routes. More than 30,000 liters of fuel were stolen, according to reports.

“Esso is committed to the very highest standards of safety. The pipeline has therefore been closed down and our specialists are working to check it and, if necessary, effect any repair,” the company said in a statement released on Monday

A spokesman told Reuters that they did not expect their custom to be impacted by the closure.

The two men who were arrested were 32 and 34 years old. Both were apprehended in Salisbury, southern England, on suspicion of conspiracy to steal fuel.

"Lines of enquiry include establishing the exact amount of fuel stolen and examining the suspected sophisticated method used in this alleged theft," police said in a statement.

According to the Daily Echo, the 30,000 liters taken were worth roughly 41,000 pounds ($70,000) if bought at the pump.
The newspaper reported that the fuel was likely to have been taken from a pipeline running from Esso Fawley Refinery (near Southampton, just over 20 miles [29 km] south east of Salisbury).

The pipe, known as the Midline Pipeline, runs north, as far as Seisdon in Staffordshire, which is 155 miles (250 km) north of Southampton. Police believe the fuel was taken in West Wellow, Hampshire, between Southampton and Salisbury.

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