A NORTH-EAST company, which carries out maintenance projects for firms producing millions of barrels of crude oil each year, has strengthened its order book after securing work on the UK's third largest refinery.

Hertel, based in Middlesbrough, has signed a three-year deal with Total UK, to work on the Lindsey Oil Refinery, in Immingham, North Lincolnshire.

The company, which has plants in Stockton and Billingham, and employs about 1,000 North-East workers, will carry out thermal insulation and painting work on the refinery, that can process more than 200,000 barrels of oil a day.

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The deal comes on the back of a nine-year partnership between Hertel and the Lincolnshire refinery, and adds to the firm's work with the UK's major oil processors that includes a contract with the UK's largest refinery, Esso Fawley, near Southampton, which handles 22 million tonnes of crude oil every year.

It also has agreements to maintain Essar Stanlow, in Cheshire, that can process about 296,000 oil barrels a day when fully operational, and Valero, in Pembroke, South Wales, which makes gasoline, diesel, kerosene and feedstocks for the petrochemical industry.

David Fitzsimons, Hertel’s managing director, said the Total deal represented another success for the firm.

He said: “Our experience of working on petrochemical sites has given us a comprehensive understanding of operators’ needs and enabled us to develop effective procedures to deliver benefits.”