Largely hidden from view, the UK is criss-crossed by a network of underground fuel pipelines transporting diesel, petrol and aviation fuel. This is a safe, secure and low impact method of moving fuel over long distances. Our pipeline control centre, staffed 24 hours a day and seven days a week, uses sophisticated tools to monitor all aspects of the pipeline. If a change is detected, an automatic system sets off an alarm. If necessary, we can immediately shut down the pipeline.
Replacement of the pipeline will maintain the supply of aviation fuel for years to come. As a responsible operator, Esso is committed to safe operations that include maintaining, repairing and, where appropriate, replacing pipelines.
Esso is a brand of ExxonMobil, which has operated in the UK for over 120 years. In the early days ExxonMobil imported high quality lamp oil to the UK market. Today our focus on quality fuels remains, but our operations are far more extensive. Esso owns and operates the UK’s largest refinery at Fawley, which provides fuel for more than 800,000 retail customers every day at Esso-branded service stations. Our underground distribution pipeline network transports fuel from Fawley to our fuel terminals at Avonmouth, Birmingham, Hythe, Purfleet, West London and also for use at the UK’s busiest airports. ExxonMobil is one of the UK’s largest petrochemical manufacturers with major plants at Fawley, Fife and Newport.
Esso has considered alternative ways of transporting fuel, particularly by road. This pipeline will keep around 100 road tankers off the road every day (an estimate based on the volume of aviation fuel transferred from the Fawley Refinery to the West London Terminal via pipeline in 2015).
Following each of the three consultations, an independent consultation expert analysed all responses and created a report. Their three reports are available on our website in the document library. We also submitted The Consultation Report as part of our application documents, and this summarises how we consulted and what we learned from consultation. The Consultation Report can be viewed on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.
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Esso Petroleum Company, Limited (Esso) is the owner of the current pipeline and made the Development Consent Order application to construct and own the new pipeline.