oil

Non-governmental environmental organisation Greenpeace has warned that oil and chemicals have been leaking from UK’s offshore rigs and platforms into the North Sea.

The evironmental organisation said that 55 cases of oil leaks occurred in the past month alone.

Greenpeace added that the latest leaks are in contrast to claims by the industry that it has a strong safety and environmental record in place.

According to Greenpeace, the fields that have leaked oil include Piper Alpha, which exploded 25 years ago killing 167 workers, and facilities operated by Shell, BP and BG.

Greenpeace senior climate adviser, Charlie Kronick, said: "They’re trying to convince the world that they can operate safely in one of the world’s harshest environments, yet they can’t prevent this steady trickle of oil and other polluting chemicals leaking into the relatively safe waters of the North Sea."

"This will do little to increase public trust in their ability to drill in the Arctic without damaging this incredibly beautiful and fragile corner of our planet," Kronick added.

The latest petroleum operations notices (PON1s) submitted to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has found that facilities operated by Shell, BP and BG were all offenders.

"The evironmental organisation said that 55 cases of oil leaks occurred in the past month alone."

New figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) reveal that Shell discharged lubricant and other chemicals from its Brent Bravo and Brent Charlie platforms in June 2013.

In a response to the figures, a Shell spokesman said: "No spill is acceptable and we work hard both offshore and onshore to minimise risks to maintain a safe working environment for our workforce and reduce any environmental impact on the North Sea".

BP is also reported to have had crude leaks off the Paul B Loyd Jnr rig last month, which was working on the Clair field.

The company is still fighting criminal charges following the Deepwater Horizon accident of 2010 in the US Gulf.

BG reported a leak on the Everest North platform on 31 May, while Talisman Energy released chemicals the day before on the Piper Bravo platform – which replaced Piper Alpha.


Image: UK’s offshore rigs and platforms are found to be still leaking oil and chemicals into North Sea; Photo: courtesy of PD-USGOV-NASA.

Energy