OIL business BP say it is likely to be weeks before Foinaven oil field 120 miles west of Shetland restarts production after a leak was found from a subsea pipe on Sunday.
The company estimates that no more than 10 barrels of oily water leaked from the hairline crack, discovered about two miles from the floating production vessel at a depth of 450 metres.
However they say the pipe could have been leaking for between one hour and 12 days.
BP say there is no evidence of pollution, but have launched an investigation while they clear and repair the crack, which is beside a subsea manifold. More than 70 crew remain on board the vessel to help and take advantage of the shutdown to carry out maintenance work.
A spokesman said: “It’s too early to give accurate guidance on the timing of a re-start but it’s likely to be weeks rather than days.”
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