Plans for removing oil trapped in the Gannet pipeline were approved by the government yesterday.
The secretary of state’s representative for maritime salvage and intervention Hugh Shaw gave permission for energy giant Shell’s plan to remove the oil, which has remained in the pipeline since an oil leak in August 2011. The leak occurred about 176km east of Aberdeen in the North Sea.
The operation to remove the majority of the oil remaining in the pipeline at a water depth of 91m will involve flushing clean the flowlines of the pipe, with a secondary operation planned to take place in spring 2013 to remove any remaining oil.
Residual gas from the pipeline was removed last October.