The unplanned shutdown in December of Britain’s biggest oil pipeline, Forties, which shut off supplies for more than two weeks and fired up global oil prices, had an unlikely cause: Scottish granite, its owner Ineos said. Ineos bought the pipeline from oil major BP last October for $250 million. In early December, its contractors spotted a crack on an onshore section of the pipeline during what Ineos called a routine inspection. “The precise point of the transverse weld of the pipeline was resting on a sharp ridge of granite rock and over time vibration of the pipeline led to the hairline crack,” Tom Crotty, director at Ineos, told Reuters. “It was a failure that BP hadn’t seen before and we don’t expect to see again,” he said, after the pipeline resumed full operation in late December following the Dec. 11 shutdown. One of the oldest pipelines […]