Oil giant Shell has been fined £22,500 by the Aberdeen Sheriff Court in Scotland over an oil spill in the North Sea in 2011.

Oil was spotted on the sea surface on 10 August 2011 in the company’s Gannet F field which is located 180km from Aberdeen.

A stand-by vessel identified the initial reported surface area of oil to be about 4.5km in length and 100m in width.

It was observed that the 200t oil release originated from a subsea relief valve that was attached to the 8" Gannet F oil production pipeline bundle close to the Gannet F towhead protection structure.

On 19 August 2011, the relief valves were manually isolated, closed by divers and the oil release was secured.

"We deeply regret the Gannet spill and accept the fine which has been handed down to us. We know that no spill is acceptable."

Shell informed the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) that an estimated 218t of oil was released to sea when the incident took place.

The incident was investigated by Britain’s national regulator Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

It was concluded that the Gannet pipeline within the bundle had failed following which crude oil entered the insulated area between the production pipeline and its sleeve and was released to sea through the relief valves.

Shell upstream director for the UK and Ireland Paul Goodfellow said in a statement: "We deeply regret the Gannet spill and accept the fine which has been handed down to us. We know that no spill is acceptable."

The Gannet field is located in the Central North Sea around 180km east of Aberdeen and is operated by Shell UK on behalf of itself and Esso Exploration and Production.