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Shell Finds Second Oil Leak in North Sea

August 16th, 2011
Via: Guardian:

A second oil leak has been discovered from an offshore platform in the North Sea.
An estimated 216 tonnes (1,300 barrels) has already spilled into the sea after the initial spill, which began at the Gannet Alpha platform 112 miles east of Aberdeen last Wednesday.

Glen Cayley, technical director of platform operator Shell's exploration and production activities in Europe, said the main leak was "pretty much dead" but a small secondary leak was proving a challenge.

Around two barrels a day are leaking into the sea, compared with hundreds of barrels a day at the start of the incident, Shell said.

Cayley said: "The leak that we've stemmed was in the flow line so job number one was to close in the wells and isolate the reservoir, which of course is the large volume from the leak.

"We're confident that it's under control. The residual small leak is in an awkward position to get to. This is complex sub-sea infrastructure, and really getting into it among quite dense marine growth is proving a challenge.

"The primary leak in the flow line is pretty much dead.

"There is a small secondary leak created by that which is the small flow of two barrels a day which is proving a little difficult to get to and isolate."

He said it is not known how the leak initially happened, and it was first spotted by a helicopter flying overhead.

Posted in Energy, Environment