A successful patch-up job means the start-up process is underway for the pipeline supplying Auckland Airport with jet fuel after it ruptured last week and delayed scores of flights.

Refining NZ says repair work is complete and fuel is expected to be pumping through the pipeline tomorrow afternoon.

The news will likely come as a relief to the airport as dozens of flights have had to be cancelled or rescheduled this week because of a shortage of fuel.

A spokesman for Refining NZ, which owns the pipeline, told the Herald the damaged section had been cut out and replaced with a new section which had been welded into place.

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Two scans of the pipeline conducted to test the welds had shown the welds were "successful".

Insurance company Lloyds had also inspected the repairs and given them the all-clear.

"Now we can go into the next stage, which is pre-commissioning the pipeline to get it ready to go," the spokesman said.

The Marsden Point refinery's chief executive Sjoerd Post confirmed to media on Wednesday that a digger tooth was found near the damaged pipe.

Experts from Lloyds had confirmed "scrapes" but believed the damage happened some years ago, he said.

Refining NZ chief executive Sjoerd Post confirmed on Wednesday that a digger tooth was found near the damaged pipe. Photo / Supplied
Refining NZ chief executive Sjoerd Post confirmed on Wednesday that a digger tooth was found near the damaged pipe. Photo / Supplied

The affects of a fuel crisis in Auckland are easing, after the pipeline burst near Ruakaka, spilling up to 80,000 litres of fuel on to nearby farmland.

Refining NZ head Sjoerd Post says aside from cleaning up the spill, repair work is done.

"In a sense the repair work on the pipeline is complete bar the cosmetics of returning the entire farmland back to its natural state," Post said.

"We're in a start-up process. We are being careful with that in the sense that as you open the pipeline you get air in the pipeline, so you need to be really careful that that air doesn't start to play havoc with the pipeline pressure," Post said.

- Additional reporting Newstalk ZB