Esso shuts UK fuel pipeline after theft report

LONDON, April 21 Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:25am EDT

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LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - Exxon's UK arm Esso has shut a pipeline running from its Fawley oil refinery near Southampton for checks, the company said on Monday, after a report that thieves tapped into the line and took thousands of litres of fuel.

"Esso is committed to the very highest standards of safety. The pipeline has therefore been closed down and our specialists are working to check it and, if necessary, effect any repair," the statement said.

A company spokesman said Esso did not expect its retail customers to be affected by the pipeline closure. Esso is a UK unit of Exxon Mobil.

Earlier on Monday, the Daily Echo newspaper reported that police were hunting a gang of thieves who were thought to have tapped into the pipeline. (Reporting by Alex Lawler. Editing Jane Merriman)

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