Shell fighting oil leak in North Sea

AP News
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Posted: Aug 12, 2011 8:30 PM
Shell fighting oil leak in North Sea

Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Friday it is trying to stop oil leaking from a flow line at one of its drilling platforms in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland.

Spokesman David Williams confirmed the leak was ongoing late Friday, but would not provide details beyond a company statement.

Shell said it cannot specify how much oil may have escaped, but it knows which line leaked and said the flow has been stemmed as the underwater well has been shut in and the line at the Gannet Alpha platform is being de-pressurized.

Gannet is 110 miles (180 kilometers) east of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Shell said it has a remote-controlled vehicle searching for the leak. Meanwhile, a plane is monitoring the surface, and a vessel with cleanup equipment is at the spot.

A spokesman for the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change said his agency is responding to the incident and will investigate. The agency understands "from Shell that there is a finite amount of oil that can be released," the spokesman added. He did not give his name in accordance with government policy.