Shell pipeline still leaking

Kasmira Jefford
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ROYAL Dutch Shell said it was continuing to make “good progress” fixing a pipeline that is still leaking into the North Sea from its Gannet Alpha platform, as Britain’s biggest oil spill for a decade ran into its eighth day.

Shell estimates that around 1,300 barrels have escaped into the water 180km off the Scottish coast so far, with the risk – in the worst case scenario – of another 4,000 barrels leaking from the isolated flowline between the well and the platform.

Shell, which co-owns the field with Exxon Mobil, said an area on the sea surface of around 500 square metres was currently affected by the spill.

Environmental charity the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Scotland made calls yesterday for the group to make public its most recent pipeline inspection report.

But Shell insisted that its surveys showed the leak “had not had a significant impact” on the environment.

Shell said divers have been sent down to inspect the faulty valve and lay down concrete weights to secure the pipeline to the seabed.