There’s more odious news from BP this week: oil has leaked in the North Sea. About 95 metric tons, or almost 105 US tons, of oil leaked from BP’s Clair platform “west of the Shetland Islands.” BP plans to allow the oil to “disperse naturally,” but The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Scotland is concerned about the environmental damage the unchecked spill could cause.
On Sunday around 10 AM, “oil in water” leaked from the Clair platform into the sea after a “technical issue” with a system that separates “mixed production fluids” of oil, water, and gas, according to BP. They say they halted the leak “within an hour once the issue had been identified” and took the field offline.
Oil Spill Response Limited; the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy; and BP “oil spill and environmental experts” worked together to determine the best way to handle the leak, according to the company. In a statement, BP said, “At present, it is considered that the most appropriate response is to allow the oil to disperse naturally at sea, but contingencies for other action are being prepared.”
Meanwhile, a RSPB Scotland spokesperson told The Guardian many “sensitive seabird species” could be at risk as they disperse from breeding colonies in Norway and the Shetland Islands out to the Atlantic Ocean. The spokesperson said, “We need to know from BP and the maritime agencies exactly what type of oil has been spilled, if it is breaking up in the water column, and what the statutory conservation agencies are advising. It is critical that there is a full and open report of what has happened, with assurances that the situation will be monitored, and details of seabird concentrations in the vicinity revealed as soon as possible.”
BP said in their statement that through surveillance flights and “oil spill modeling,” they think the oil is moving north away from the land, and a recent flight revealed oil is already dispersing.
Via The Guardian