Energy giant Ineos has announced it is to postpone the planned shutdown of its Forties Pipeline until August.
The firm said the decision was taken due to concerns around bringing workers together due to the coronavirus outbreak.
It added that it was also “responding to requests from customers”.
The pipeline system, which has a maximum capacity is 600,000 barrels of oil per day, was due to shutdown on June 16 2020.
Ineos said the shutdown will not now start before August 2020 at the earliest.
A spokesman for the firm said: “Ineos FPS has today responded to requests from customers and delayed its planned summer shut down of the Forties Pipeline System
“The decision has been taken in the face of the growing Corona Virus pandemic and the need to avoid bringing together large numbers of people
“Ineos will continue to work with our Government and customers to provide more information as soon as is practical.
“FPS has today written to all its customers saying that there will be a delay to the FPS Summer Shutdown that was planned for June 16th 2020. The Shutdown will not now start before August 2020 at the earliest.
“Ineos is also mindful of the benefits of completing this project work to the future operation of FPS and the risks of not going ahead.
“However, it recognises the importance of maintain a flow of oil and gas through FPS during the current situation. The company found that there was an overwhelming desire to delay the shutdown by its customers which it is responding to.
“In the coming days Ineos will continue to have discussions with its customers and other stakeholders to define the best dates to plan these projects.”
Ineos last week vowed to carry on with its planned shutdown of the Forties Pipeline System in June.
Under the current plans, the FPS will be switched off for several weeks to let operator Ineos carry out upgrades as part of a £500 million project to rejuvenate the pipeline.
The 310-mile long FPS opened in 1975 and is responsible for transporting about 40% of UK North Sea oil and gas to shore.