Global Processing

Scottish oil refinery strike ends

May 1, 2008
Workers returned to the Grangemouth refinery in central Scotland after a 48-hour strike that forced the closure of a major North Sea pipeline system, the Associated Press reported recently.

UNITE, Britain''s largest union, said further industrial action remains possible unless refinery owner Ineos backs down in a dispute over pensions.

Business Secretary John Hutton, who was in Scotland, said he was glad that union and company planned to meet later in the day.

The strike at the refinery led to the closure of the Forties Pipeline System, which brings more than 700,000 barrels of oil a day from the North Sea to BP PLC''s Kinneil plant. Kinneil is powered from the Grangemouth site.

Ineos Group Ltd. spokesman Mark Killick said it would be about three or four days before the system was fully operational.

Killick added that restoring operations to the refinery could take as long as a month if there were problems reintroducing heat and pressure into the pipes.