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Dalmeny Fuel Depot

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Dalmeny fuel depot, 2008
Dalmeny fuel depot
© Mike Pennington

The Dalmeny fuel depot stores refined products from the Grangemouth oil refinery prior to export via the Hound Point tanker terminal.

The Dalmeny depot has storage capacity of about four million barrels in eight floating roof tanks. The depot is connected to two crude oil loading jetties at Hound Point, about five kilometres to the north in the Firth of Forth, by 48 inch and 40 inch loading pipelines.

Crude oil is loaded at up to 16,000 cubic metres per hour at each berth. A marine vapour recovery unit at Hound Point collects volatile organic compounds (VOC) that would otherwise be released into the environment during ship loading, and processes the VOCs at Dalmeny for reinjection into crude oil, or for use as fuel gas.

NT 147 766, 2005
Dalmeny fuel depot
© Richard Webb

Crude oil stabilisation and gas processing and treatment are undertaken at the Kinneil terminal which is capable of processing 1,150,000 barrels per day of unstabilised crude oil (approximately 6100 te/hr). From Kinneil, a 30 inch landline transports Forties blend stabilised crude oil 19 kilometres east to the FPS (Forties pipeline system) crude oil storage installation at the Dalmeny depot.

Forties pipeline system

The FPS is an integrated oil and gas liquid transportation and processing system which has a nominal capacity of more than one million barrels per day, and serves the central area of the North Sea. Oil and gas liquids from over 50 offshore fields and the St Fergus gas terminal flow through pipelines into the FPS. The system transports crude oil and gas liquids from offshore and onshore entry points, processes the liquids at Kinneil, and redelivers Forties Blend crude oil at Hound Point and either Raw Gas or fractionated Gas Products at Grangemouth.

In the early 1990s, the FPS replaced the original FPS pipeline and made an additional £1 billion speculative investment which funded the oversize of the pipeline from 32 inches to 36 inches, the installation of Forties Unity offshore riser platform, two additional onshore pumping stations, an additional oil stabilization and processing train at Kinneil, an additional crude storage tank at Dalmeny, and an additional crude oil loading jetty at Hound Point. The Forties Pipeline Control Centre at Kinneil is manned 24 hours per day.

Kinneil terminal

The Kinneil terminal lies in the Kerse of Kinneil, on the opposite bank of the River Avon from the Grangemouth Oil Refinery, 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Grangemouth and 2½ miles (4 km) west of Bo'ness. Owned by BP, the terminal employs some 90 staff and has the capacity to process more than one million barrels of oil per day, about 40% of total UK oil production.

The terminal is an oil stabilisation and gas separation plant which marks the end of the Forties pipeline system (FPS) which transports crude oil 238 miles (384 km) from the central North Sea. The process removes water, and stabilises and sweetens the oil by extracting gaseous hydrocarbons and removing hydrogen sulphide, making the crude oil safe for further processing and shipment by tanker. A 36 inch seabed pipeline brings oil from more than thirty offshore production platforms to land at Cruden Bay where the oil is mixed with liquified gas from the St Fergus Gas Terminal, then pumped south through an underground pipeline to Kinneil via booster pumping stations at Netherley, Brechin and Balbeggie. Much of the oil is then passed to the Grangemouth Refinery, with a proportion piped to the Dalmeny depot for export via the terminal at Hound Point.

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