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North Sea oil spill response continuing

Work to stem the flow of a “significant” oil leak from a Shell platform in the North Sea is underway.

Shell technical director Glen Cayley said he estimated the total volume of the spill so far was about 216t (1,300 barrels).

“This is a significant spill in the context of annual amounts of oil spilled in the North Sea,” Cayley said.

“We care about the environment and we regret that the spill happened. We have taken it very seriously and responded promptly to it.”

Reports this morning claimed that Shell was also working to uncover a second leak in the same line.

Scottish environment secretary Richard Lochhead said an investigation into the incident would be launched.

“As is standard practice in incidents such as this, the UK Government, which has responsibility for the pipeline system, will be taking forward an investigation and I will be pressing for the Scottish Government to have a full and formal role, given our responsibilities for the marine environment,” he said.

“While there are inevitable difficulties verifying the extent and size of the leak, it’s vital that Shell and the Department for Energy and Climate Change make information available on an open, transparent and regular basis.”

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