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 pipelinewill 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 an initial working route?

The initial working route follows the preferred corridor and has been developed by reviewing the available local technical data. It is an early view of where we might seek to install the pipeline and may be subject to change before we consult on our preferred route in autumn 2018.

How wide is the initial working route?

The initial working route is typically around 20-30 metres wide.

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

Over summer 2018, we will hold local events where landowners can 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 before refining the initial working route ahead of a second consultation in autumn 2018.

Can I still be impacted if I live in the preferred corridor, but not on the initial working 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 participate in the forthcoming consultation. 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 in advance of the next consultation if our work indicates this could affect your land.

Why is there an initial working route - what else is there to consider?

There are a number of things we need to take into consideration when refining the route. Additional land beyond the initial working route may also be affected by the installation. Together with the route for the
pipeline, such land is known as the ‘order limits’. The order limits will be consulted upon as part of the second consultation. Additional technical work needs to be undertaken to better understand local features and impacts. We also recognise the importance of individuals, communities, representatives and organisations contributing to the development of our proposals. This is why we committed to undertake two consultations with the second taking place in autumn 2018. We are grateful for all the responses we have received during
the first consultation, since they have informed us in our work to select a preferred corridor and develop the initial working route. As the project develops, the Fisher German team will be in contact with landowners whose land may potentially be impacted to arrange access to private land for surveys. They will also continue land referencing work and will invite landowners to local events to discuss the initial working route in more detail.

Where can I view the initial working route?

You can view the initial working route on the interactive map on our website at www.slpproject.co.uk. We will also hold local events where landowners can meet our team of experts to discuss the initial working route in more detail.

Why can’t I find more detailed maps at the local information points? Why can’t I zoom in closer on the online map?

We are still at an early stage in our proposals, so the level of detail in the maps reflects this. We have released the initial working route so that we can more effectively engage with landowners and key stakeholders – more detailed mapping will be made widely available at the second consultation in autumn 2018.

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 up to our electronic newsletter, which will be sent out throughout 2018. This will keep you informed about project announcements, and provide details about our upcoming consultations.

Which company is making the Development Consent Order application?

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.