The UK Secretary of States Representative for Maritime Salvage has given the green light for Shell‘s next phase of operation at the Gannet field pipeline in the Central North Sea.

Planning is now underway for the safe removal of gas and oil remaining in the damaged pipeline and Shell has begun work to secure the pipeline with concrete mattresses to protect it from the threat of storm or tidal damage, said Secretary of States Representative Hugh Shaw.

The Gannet field lies 180km east of Aberdeen, Scotland, and is operated by Shell UK and Esso Exploration and Production UK.

Shell confirmed an oil leak in a flow line to its Gannet Alpha platform on 13 August 2011.