Ineos’ investment in the Forties Pipeline System (FPS) was hailed as a show of faith in the North Sea’s future by industry leaders.
FPS currently transports more than 400,000 barrels of North Sea oil to shore every day, but has a capacity of 600,000.
Ineos bought the pipeline system from BP for £190 million in October 2017.
But the pipeline had to shut down for several weeks in December 2017 after a leak was discovered near Netherley, Aberdeenshire, leading to the disruption of North Sea production and the evacuation of local residents.
Led by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the UK’s richest man, Ineos said its “transformational improvement” plan would make FPS more reliable and support North Sea production well into the 2040s.
Mike Tholen, upstream policy director at Oil and Gas UK, said the move strengthened the oil and gas industry’s aim of adding “another generation of production” to the basin, as part of its Vision 2035 campaign.
Mr Tholen said: “The modernisation programme will provide operators with a greater degree of certainty when making investment decisions about the future development plans for their assets.”
Scott Robertson, central North Sea area manager at the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), welcomed the investment in a “key piece of infrastructure”, which was critical to maximising production from the North Sea.
Mr Robertson said: “Ineos has actively engaged with the OGA throughout the development of their strategic plans for FPS, and this long term commitment will provide confidence to many existing and potential future users, supporting North Sea production for many decades to come.”
Scottish Conservative MSP Alexander Burnett said Mr Ratcliffe had demonstrated that his desire to do business in Scotland was “undimmed”.