Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Clair oil spill update

OIL giant BP is still unable to say how much oil was spilled into the sea when its Clair oil platform, 75 kilometres west of Shetland, developed a technical fault on Sunday morning.

The company said on Monday morning that “a quantity of oil in water was released the sea from the Clair platform as a result of a technical issue with the system designed to separate the mixed production fluids of water, oil and gas”.

The spill was stopped within an hour, the company said, but oil is now visible on the water surface.

A spokesman said: “At present, we believe the most appropriate response is to allow the oil to disperse naturally at sea, but contingencies for other action are being prepared.

“Both direct observation and oil spill modelling indicate the oil to be moving in a northerly direction away from land.

“The total oil in water volume that was released has yet to be accurately assessed and work to determine this is ongoing.”

The platform was shut down on Sunday and will remain offline until investigations into the cause of the spill has been concluded.

Oil spill and environmental experts from BP, Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have been working together to assess any potential environmental impacts and to agree the best way to respond.

Discovered in 1977, the first phase of the Clair oil field development came on stream in February 2005. Oil is exported via a pipeline to the Sullom Voe Terminal.