SNP - Tom Wills

Greenpeace: BP should drop drilling plans

ENVIRONMENTAL pressure group Greenpeace have called on oil giant BP to halt their plans to drill for oil more than one kilometre under the ocean 80 miles north west of Shetland.

BP have just finished consulting on using the drilling rig Stena Carron to tap the North Uist exploratory well next year.

The company have made contingency plans for the biggest oil spill in history, more than twice the size of last year’s catastrophic Deepwater Horizon leak in the Gulf of Mexico, which devastated the US coastline.

BP’s contingency plans indicate Shetland would probably be hit hard by any oil spill from the well, which will lie at a depth of more than 4,000 feet. Their worst case scenario would see 75,000 barrels of oil leaking every day for 140 days.

Last year the House of Commons select committee stated that it would be nigh on impossible to clean up an oil spill in the region, and said “prevention was better than cure”.

Greenpeace UK’s executive director John Sauven has said energy secretary Chris Huhne should refuse to approve BP’s plans.

The pressure group last year staged a dramatic protest in Lerwick harbour to prevent the Stena Carron carrying out a drilling operation for US oil giant Chevron at the Lagavulin prospect north of Shetland.

BP has pointed to the development of a new well capping device designed for use in depths of up to 10,000 feet which could be used in the event of a leak from North Uist.

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