Ineos wants BP pipeline

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Union officials are concerned over a petrochemical giant’s plans to purchase the North Sea’s largest pipeline.

BP’s Forties Pipeline System, which began operating in 1975, carries around 450,000 barrels of oil per day on average – that’s almost 40 per cent of UK production. Now it appears Ineos wants to take the pipeline off BP’s hands.

Both BP and Ineos confirmed they were in “discussions” regarding the potential sale of the pipeline, but could not give any more details due to commercial confidentiality.

Union Unite has major concerns over the sale and is seeking urgent talks with Ineos.

Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish secretary, said: “Our members at BP will have major concerns about the possibility of becoming employees of Ineos, a company with a clear history of attacking our members’ pensions, as well as their terms and conditions, in order to maximise profit.

“If a sale does go ahead, we will fight to protect our members in every way we can, and Ineos should work with us to allay their fears. There is also a wider issue of economic power.

“The Forties Pipeline System carries a massive amount of the UK’s oil. Grangemouth is one of the country’s major refineries. Both of these pieces of vital national infrastructure could soon be effectively in the hands of one man – Ineos founder Jim Ratcliffe.

“That is an incredible amount of power and Unite doesn’t believe that is good for workers or good for the country.”