Responding to the latest developments in the North Sea, Greenpeace have questioned Shell’s motives for keeping quiet over last week’s spill.
Senior oil campaigner Vicky Wyatt said: “While oil has been flowing, timely information has not. The original leak, now classified as significant, happened on Wednesday, but the news wasn’t made public for 48 hours, and now we’re learning of a second spill.”
Greenpeace is taking legal action to stop the UK government handing out over 20 new licences for oil companies to drill in the deep water to the west of Shetland. Greenpeace lawyers argue that the government cannot be certain that a spill in the area wouldn’t devastate specially protected wildlife havens.
Ms Wyatt said Shell had to answer to the Government: “As Shell finalises plans to move into the fragile Arctic, where oil spills are almost impossible to clean up, the company has important questions to answer. Meanwhile the government should halt its rush to hand out new licences for deep water drilling to the west of Shetland.”
Greenpeace ran a campaign over the summer to force Cairn Energy to publish its plan for dealing with a spill in the Arctic, where it is currently drilling for oil. The conservationists are now examining the 214 page plan and will publish its audit in the coming days.
Greenpeace say UK government documents state that it would be “near impossible” to clean up an Arctic spill.