ONE of the UK’s main underground pipelines targeted by thieves at Wellow has reopened after 38,000 litres of fuel was siphoned from it.

A tapping device was discovered on Esso’s Midline Pipeline after police found the stolen fuel at a nearby industrial unit at West Wellow, on April 17.

Esso said its operations have now resumed “following repairs and tests”.

Two men, aged 32 and 34, both from Salisbury, were arrested and bailed on suspicion of conspiracy to steal fuel.

They are due to answer bail on July 10, pending further inquiries.

The Midline Pipeline runs underground between Esso’s refinery at Fawley, near Southampton, to its terminal in Birmingham International Airport.