Earlier today, North Sea Brent - the international crude oil benchmark - jumped to a two-year high of $64.93 a barrel.

This was due to the UK North Sea's main pipeline system shutting down for 'weeks' to undergo emergency repairs.

Ineos, which operates the Forties network, said a small hairline crack was found last week during a routine inspection south of Aberdeen.

Ineos stated that "Despite reducing the pressure the crack has extended, and as a consequence the incident management team has now decided that a controlled shutdown of the pipeline is the safest way to proceed.

This would allow for a "suitable repair method to be worked up based on the latest inspection data, while reducing the risk of injury to staff and the environment."

Up to now, no oil or gas seepage had been detected and that the pipe was being closely monitored according to Ineos.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $57.98 a barrel, close to their last settlement.