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Ineos starts testing UK's Forties North Sea oil pipeline after repairs

LONDON, Dec 25 (Reuters) - Britain's Forties oil and gas pipeline, one of the biggest in the North Sea, was repaired over Christmas, its operator Ineos said on Monday, adding that it was testing the pipeline and full flows should resume in early January.

"The repair of the pipeline ... is now mechanically complete and pressure testing is well under way," Ineos said in a statement.

"A small number of customers are now sending oil and gas through the pipeline at low rates as part of a coordinated plan that allows Ineos to carefully control the flow and pressure in the system".

It said the oil and gas processing facility Kinneil should restart in the next 24 hours.

"Based on current estimates the company expects to bring the pipeline and Kinneil progressively back to normal rates early in the new year," Ineos said. (Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)