Shell's Scottish spill under control

18th August 2011


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Energy ,
  • Water ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Generation

Author

IEMA

The oil leaking from a Shell platform off the coast of Scotland has been greatly but has not stopped completely DECC has confirmed.

In a statement published by the department, the secretary of state’s representative for maritime salvage and intervention, Hugh Shaw, revealed he was happy that Shell had a handle on the leak, which has pumped more than 210 tonnes of crude oil into the North Sea over the last week.

“Based on the latest intelligence, my view is that the oil leak is under control,” he said. “The priority now and over the coming days is to completely halt any further leakage in what is a complex environment.”

The leak from the Gannet Alpha oil platform, located 113 miles east of Aberdeen, was first reported last Thursday (10 August) and is the largest in the area for a decade.

Shell has confirmed that after halting the original source of the flow in pipes to the platform, it is now tackling a second, much smaller leak, thought to be from a nearby relief valve.

Glen Cayley, technical director of Shell’s exploration and production activities in Europe, based in Aberdeen confirmed the rate of flow from the leak is now down to less than one barrel a day.

“I must stress again how much we regret this incident, that the situation is under control and we are working towards a swift solution. However I cannot stress enough the need to undertake detailed risk assessments and ensure any work considered is undertaken safely,” he said.

While DECC has labelled the spill as significant, the department says the oil is not expected to reach the shore and that it will be dispersed naturally.

An independent unit with representatives from DECC, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Marine Scotland has been created and is working with Shell to monitor and tackle the spill.

“It will be for DECC and the HSE inspectors to thoroughly investigate the causes of this incident, and once the full report is completed, it will be sent the Scottish Procurator Fiscal who will consider it and make a decision on further action,” Shaw said.

The sector’s trade body, Oil & Gas UK, has confirmed it will work with Shell to ensure the country’s operators learn from the spill.

"All spills of any nature are regrettable and therefore, as soon as the cause of the leak at the Gannet field is known, Oil & Gas UK will look to work with the operator to ensure lessons that can be learned are communicated throughout the industry in order to help prevent such an incident from occurring again," said Oil & Gas UK’s chief executive Malcolm Webb.

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

Swing voters show strong support for renewables

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

The UK’s major cities lag well behind their European counterparts in terms of public transport use. Linking development to transport routes might be the answer, argues Huw Morris

3rd April 2024

Read more

Tom Harris examines the supply chain constraints facing the growing number of interconnector projects

2nd April 2024

Read more

The UK government’s carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) strategy is based on optimistic techno-economic assumptions that are now outdated, Carbon Tracker has warned.

13th March 2024

Read more

The UK government’s latest Public Attitudes Tracker has found broad support for efforts to tackle climate change, although there are significant concerns that bills will rise.

13th March 2024

Read more

A consortium including IEMA and the Good Homes Alliance have drafted a letter to UK government ministers expressing disappointment with the proposed Future Homes Standard.

26th February 2024

Read more

Global corporations such as Amazon and Google purchased a record 46 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind energy last year, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF).

13th February 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close