Shell Oil struggles to contain 200-ton North Sea spill

A Shell Oil spokesman in Aberdeen, Scotland, assured that “everything” possible is being done to contain a massive oil spill from a North Sea pipeline. The leak began Aug. 10 on the pipeline system that serves the Gannet Alpha platform in British waters. But UK authorities say that Shell did not report the leak for two days, and by then more than 200 tons of oil had entered the sea. Said company spokesman Glen Cayley: “This is a significant spill in the context of annual amounts of oil spilled in the North Sea. We care about the environment and we regret that the spill happened. We have taken it very seriously and responded promptly to it.” However, officials acknowledged that the pipeline is still believed to contain up to 660 tons of oil.

A spokesman for the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “Shell has informed us that the oil leak at its pipeline at the Gannet Alpha platform east of Aberdeen is under control and has now been greatly reduced. They are working to completely halt any further leakage.” The Gannet oil field is co-owned by Esso, a subsidiary of Exxon but operated by Shell. (BBC News, Aug. 17; ENS, Aug. 15; BBC News, Aug. 13)

See our last posts on petro-oligarchical rule and the politics of oil spills.

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