A major North sea pipeline remains shut down following an oil leak on an offshore installation.

It is the second leak on Cormorant Alpha this year. Around 70 workers had to be evacuated from the platform at the weekend, with the Brent pipeline closed down.

Just seven weeks ago a leak in one of the platforms legs saw workers evacuated and the Brent pipeline system shut off for two days.

On Saturday a second leak was detected, once again non-essential workers were flown off the installation and the pipeline taking oil to Shetland was closed.

Taqa said the oil has been contained in the leg and there was no release into the sea

The Brent system is vital to the UK’s energy supplies pumping ten per cent of the country’s oil to Sullom Voe, worth £6m a day. More than 20 fields feed into the pipeline.

Taqa’s Tern, Eider and North Cormorant platforms were also shut down as a result of the leak and Total has been forced to stop production in the Alwyn area halting gas exports to St Fergus.