Scotland–North Ireland Pipeline (SNIP)

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

Scotland–North Ireland Pipeline (SNIP) in a natural gas pipeline in the United Kingdom.[1]


The pipeline runs from Twynholm, Scotland, United Kingdom to Islandmagee, North Ireland, United Kingdom.[1][2][3][4]

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Pipeline Details

Project Details

  • Operator: Premier Transmission
  • Owner: Premier Transmission
  • Parent Company: Mutual Energy
  • Current capacity: 31.5 billion cubic meters per year
  • Length: 135 kilometers
  • Diameter: 24 inches
  • Status: Operating
  • Start Year: 1996


Scotland-Northern Ireland Pipeline (SNIP) is a 24-inch, 135 km long natural gas pipeline which runs from Twynholm, Scotland and Islandmagee in Northern Ireland.

In March 1992 Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Brooke announced the first stage of the privatisation of Northern Ireland Electricity, the province's nationalised utility company; A major part of this was the sale of Ballylumford power station in Northern Ireland to British Gas for £132 million. This oil-fired power plant provided more than half of the power needs of the 600,000 customers in Northern Ireland. British Gas simultaneously announced its plans to set up Premier Transco to build and operate a natural gas pipeline between Scotland and Northern Ireland, to convert Ballylumford to natural gas, and to set up a commercial supply company for natural gas (what would become Phoenix Natural Gas).

In 1994 Premier Transco awarded the contract for design and construction of the SNIP to European Marine Contractors (EMC), a 50-50 venture of Brown & Root Inc. and Saipem. Pipe production began in 1994 at the Hartlepool, England, plant of British Steel plc. EMC used the Castoro Sei semi-submersible laybarge to install the line. The pipeline was completed in 1996.

Environmental Impact

Environmentalists have criticized a proposed upgrade to the pipeline that would enable the reverse flow of gas between Ballylumford and Twynholm.[5] "Northern Ireland does not extract gas and has only a small pipeline connecting it to Ireland," stated Food & Water Europe in its June 2017 report "Tour d'Europe: 6 Particularly Unnecessary Gas Projects in the EU."[6] "It seems strange to upgrade the SNIP pipeline without having a clear idea what the purpose of this upgrade would be."[6]

The route and construction of the pipeline were both controversial due to concerns of it disrupting a weapons dump in and around Beaufort's Dyke.


The SciGRID_gas combined IGG gas transmission network data set refers to the pipeline as INET_PL_40 and INET_PL_615.[2]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Natural Gas Pipelines in Europe, Asia, Africa & Middle East, Harvard University, accessed January 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Diettrich, Pluta, Medrjoubi (July 23, 2020). "The combined IGG gas transmission network data set". DLR Institute for Networked Energy Systems. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. "Pipeline map". Gas Networks Ireland. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  4. "Upgrade of the SNIP (Scotland to Northern Ireland) pipeline to accommodate physical reverse flow between Ballylumford and Twynholm" (PDF). December 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. Scotland to Northern Ireland Pipeline (SNIP) Project, Mutual Energy, accessed April 2018
  6. 6.0 6.1 Tour d’Europe: 6 Particularly Unnecessary Gas Projects in the EU, Food & Water Europe, Jun. 26, 2017

Related articles

External resources

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on Scotland-Northern Ireland pipeline. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License].