Shell works to contain oil spill at the Gannet Alpha platform offshore the UK

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Shell  (NYSE: RDS.A) (NYSE: RDS.B) has confirmed an oil spill from a flowline on the Gannet Alpha platform in the UK North Sea. Shell reports that it has gotten the leak under control, reducing the amount of oil leaking from the facility.

On Wednesday, August 10, a subsea well on the Gannet Alpha platform was shut-in due to the oil leak, and the flowline has since been isolated and depressurized.

The personnel on the platform are safe, and the Gannet Alpha remains in operation.

An ROV has been deployed to perform inspection checks and monitor the subsea oil leak, located on the sea floor. Additionally, a stand-by vessel is on location, ready to deploy oil spill response measures and dispersant if required.

The leak has resulted in an oil sheen on the water's surface spanning 31 kilometers by 4.3 kilometers at the widest point, which is moving west of the field.

Shell expects waves to naturally disperse the oil sheen before reaching the shoreline. Current weather conditions present southerly winds of 25 to 30 knots with waves measuring some 2 meters high.

Shell has informed the appropriate regulatory groups, including MCA, DECC and HSE, of the incident.

Gannet is located in the Central UK North Sea, about 180 kilometers east of Aberdeen. Shell UK serves as the operator of the field on behalf of Esso Exploration.

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