ONE of the UK’s main underground pipelines targeted by thieves at a remote rural spot in Hampshire has reopened after 30,000 litres of fuel was siphoned.

It comes after a tapping device was discovered on Esso’s Midline Pipeline after police found the stolen fuel at a nearby industrial unit at West Wellow, near Romsey, in Hampshire last Thursday.

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.