What are fuel pipelines used for?

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. According to the UK Petroleum Association, more than 30 million tonnes of fuels are safely transported through UK pipelines every year. This takes around one million tanker journeys off our roads, reducing traffic congestion. 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.

Why does this pipeline need to be replaced?

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.

Replacement of the pipeline is being undertaken now to allow appropriate time for design, consultation, the Development Consent Order process and installation, whilst also maintaining the operation of the existing pipeline.

Have alternative options been considered?

At this stage 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).

What is a preferred route?

The preferred route follows the preferred corridor and has been developed by reviewing the available local technical data. We have considered route specific feedback from the first consultation and collected data from organisations such as local councils, environmental specialists and utility companies.

What does this mean for landowners who live inside the preferred route and how will you keep them informed?

We held local events where landowners had the opportunity to meet our team of experts to discuss the initial working route in more detail. We will continue to work closely with impacted landowners and organisations during and after the preferred route consultation.

Can I still be impacted if I live in initial working route, but not on the preferred route?

There may be wider impacts outside of the immediate pipeline route that may concern you and the pipeline route itself may be subject to change. We would therefore encourage you to stay engaged with the project and contact us if you have any questions. We are also considering what additional temporary arrangements such as access routes and construction compounds may be required during the construction phase and we will be in touch if our work indicates this could affect your land.

Where can I view the preferred route?

You can view the preferred route on the interactive map on our website at www.slpproject.co.uk. We will also run a consultation where you can meet our team of experts to discuss the preferred route in more detail. We have also produced a map book which goes through every section of the preferred route. You can download a copy from our Document Library or view one at one of the information points or one of our events. All details can be found on our Preferred Route Consultation page.

Who is Esso?

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. ExxonMobil also holds an interest in nearly 40 producing oil and gas fields in the UK North Sea, and a stake in the South Hook Liquefied Natural Gas plant at Milford Haven in Wales, which has the capacity to import 20 percent of the UK’s gas demand.

How can I find out more?

For the Corridor Options Consultation we produced a comprehensive Consultation Brochure, alongside other information that provides important background information and detailed explanation on the proposed pipeline corridors. We will continue to update the information on this website and will produce further information as the project goes forward. Please sign up to our electronic newsletter, which will be sent out throughout 2018. This will keep you informed about project announcements.

Which company is making the application for development consent?

Esso Petroleum Company, Limited (Esso) is the owner of the current pipeline and will make the Development Consent Order application to construct and own the new pipeline.

Please note: References to “Esso” on this website refer throughout to Esso Petroleum Company, Limited and nothing on this website should be construed to override corporate separateness.