Shell U.K. has confirmed an oil leak in the North Sea but has said that it is under control. The subsea well was shut in on Wednesday and the flowline on the seabed is now isolated and depressurized with leakage of oil considerably reduced.
The oil company has come under criticism for not releasing details of the spill quickly enough with WWF Scotland complaining that they weren’t quick enough to release details.
Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said: “The leak has now been going on for a number of days, but Shell has only put out a statement once they have it all under control. Shell is keeping things very close to their chest.”
Shell estimate the size of the slick to measure around 31 kms by 4.3 kms. The company have said they expect the spill to be dispersed through waves and that the spill won’t reach the shore.
The Gannet field is in the Central North Sea around 112 miles (180km) east of Aberdeen. It is operated by Shell U.K. Limited on behalf of itself and Esso Exploration and Production UK Limited.