Shell says Gannet Alpha oil rig has a second leak

ROYAL Dutch Shell said oil continued to escape into the North Sea after it discovered a second leak from its Gannet Alpha platform, in what has been the largest spill there in a decade.

The Anglo-Dutch company confirmed that whilst the main leak in the flow line was stopped on Thursday last week, it was still overcoming “technical challenges” to find the exact source of a second smaller leak from the same pipe.

“We believe that the small leakage is coming from a relief valve adjacent to the main leak and from the same source,” said Glen Cayley, technical director of Shell’s exploration and production activities in Europe.

“Once we’ve confirmed this, we will develop a series of mitigation options to stop this remaining leak.”

More than 200 tonnes or 1,300 barrels of oil have escaped since the first leak was discovered six days ago.

Shell said it has managed to reduce the rate of leakage from the flowline to less than one barrel a day.

Shell closed down 10p at 2,005.5p.