Central Area Transmission System

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Central Area Transmission System (also known as CATS) is a natural gas transportation and processing system that transports gas through a 404 kilometer pipeline from the Central North Sea to a reception and processing terminal at Teesside in northeast England.[1]


The CATS pipeline delivers gas from Everest Oil and Gas Field (United Kingdom) to the Teesside terminal in the Northern part of the U.K.[2]

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Project Details

  • Owner: Kellas Midstream Limited
  • Operator: Wood
  • Parent: Antin Infrastructure Partners (99%), ConocoPhillips (0.66%), ENI (0.34%)
  • Current capacity: 1.7 billion cubic feet per day
  • Proposed capacity:
  • Length: 404 kilometers[2]
  • Diameter: 36 inches[2]
  • Status: Operating[2]
  • Start Year: 1993[2]
  • Identifiers:
    • OGA Pipeline Number: PL774[2]


The Central Area Transmission System project, also known as CATS, was developed after the discovery of two gas fields in the North Sea. The discovery of the Lomond gas field in 1973 was followed by the finding of the Everest gas field 10 years later. The gas fields individually were too small to be considered impractical due to also being 120 miles offshore, but together they were considered commercially viable.[3] The project became operational in 1993 was considered one of the largest construction projects at the time.[4]


In 2015, British Petroleum (BP) sold its entire share of CATS to Antin Infrastructure Partners. Before the transaction, BP owned 36.22% while Antin owned 62.78%, with the remaining 1% shared between ENI and ConoccoPhillips.[5] Antin Infrastructure Partners is a European private equity company focused on infrastructure investments, and one of the first non-oil and gas companies to own a significant part of UKCS midstream infrastructure. Antin functions as the majority owner of CATS via its wholly owner subsidiary CATS Management Limited [4]


CATS - the Central Area Transmission System – is a natural gas transportation and processing system that transports gas through a 404 kilometer (250 mile) 36 inch diameter subsea pipeline from the Central North Sea to a reception and processing terminal at Teesside in the North East of England. The pipeline system has a capacity of 1.7 billion Standard cubic feet of Natural Gas per day.[6]

Infrastructure Details

Riser Platform

The CATS riser platform is located in Block 22/10a of the Central North Sea. It gathers natural gas from a multiple surrounding fields. The incoming gas from Everest and other fields connected by separate pipelines including Armada, Lomond and Erskine is combined on the riser platform. From the riser platform, the gas is transported via a 404 kilometer (250 mile) 36 inch diameter subsea pipeline to the reception and processing terminal at Teesside in the North East of England.[7]


The 36” diameter pipeline runs along the seabed from the riser platform to Coatham Sands, Teesside – a distance of 404 kilometers. From this point, the line runs to the CATS terminal at Seal Sands, 8 kilometers away.[8]

Processing Terminal

At the CATS terminal in Teesside, the pipeline gas is treated and is then routed to either the CATS gas processing trains, or to the Teesside Gas Processing Plant (TGPP). The CATS gas processing plant on the CATS terminal is made up of two gas processing trains, each with capacity of around 17 million standard cubic meters (600 million standard cubic feet) per day. CATS delivers gas directly into the National Transmission System, and liquid products are exported by pipelines to nearby facilities for onward processing or storage.[9]


An area of the pipeline was damaged by a ship dropping its anchor while leaving the port of Teesside on June 27, 2007. The pipeline shutdown had been affecting a significant proportion of the U.K. North Sea's oil and gas output. All gas production had been shut in at the fields connected to the pipeline. Oil production at most of the fields which feed gas into CATS was also affected. Analysts estimated up to 100,000 barrels of oil production a day may have been halted. No environmental damage was reported. The pipeline was fixed after two months and the pipeline system returned to its normal throughput midway through September of 2007.[10]

Articles and resources


  1. Central Area Transmission System, Wikipedia, accessed March, 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Smith, Bee (September 24, 2021). "Pipelines Linear (ED50)". Oil and Gas Authority Open Data. Retrieved October 15, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. M.D. Haynes, The Central Area Transmission System (Cats) And Central Graben Development, OnePetro, 1993
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fast Facts, CATS Pipeline, accessed March, 2018
  5. BP agrees sale of Central Area Transmission System (CATS) business to Antin Infrastructure Partners, BP, April 23, 2015
  6. CATS Central Area Transmission System Gas Pipeline, A Barrel Full, accessed March, 2018
  7. Riser Platform, CATS Pipeline, accessed March, 2018
  8. Pipeline, CATS Pipeline, accessed March, 2018
  9. CATS Pipeline, accessed March, 2018
  10. James Herron, UK CATS Gas Pipe Repairs Done, Restart This Week, Rigzone, accessed August 30, 2007

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