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Shell says oil spill fix did not work

One barrel of oil a day is still escaping from a leak on Shell’s Gannet Alpha oil platform, despite an attempt to isolate the leak by shutting off surrounding valves in the pipeline.

On Thursday, Shell believed it had fixed the problem, however the line continued leaking. Shell said this was due to the oil finding a “second pathway” to the the sea. The leak was found last week at the Gannet Alpha oil platform, 180km off Aberdeen.

“Currently we have sent down divers to inspect the line,” a Shell spokesman told NCE. “Remember also, this is a pipe within in a pipe. We haven’t done anything special technically yet, but we have isolated the leak using the valves in the system … we have also depressurised the pipeline.”

A major incident room has been set up to deal with the crisis and to develop an engineering solution. Shell technical director Greg Cayley said environmental conditions had made finding the leak difficult.

“It has proved difficult to find the exact source of the leak because we are dealing with a complex subsea infrastructure and the leak seems to be coming from an awkward place surrounded by marine growth,” he said. “It has taken our Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) inspections some time to establish exactly where the source is.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • One barrel a day? I'm a pretty committed environmentalist, but even I think that doesn't sound like much. Still, I am pleased to see that after Deepwater Horizon the oil industry is clearly aware that the world is watching.

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