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Tavish’s oil spill concerns

According to BP the oil spilled from the Clair platform is breaking up naturally - Photo: MCA

SHETLAND MSP Tavish Scott has raised concerns in the Scottish Parliament over the environmental impact of the recent oil leak from the Clair platform.

Nearly 100 tonnes of oil was spilled into the North Sea from the BP rig on Sunday, which is located around 75 kilometres west of Shetland.

While the oil has started to disperse naturally, Scott questioned the impact of the leak during a Scottish Parliament session on Tuesday.

BP confirmed the oil was released as a “result of a technical issue with the system designed to separate the mixed production fluids of water, oil and gas” and that the spill lasted for less than one hour.

Scott said: “This is the first known leak at the Clair platform since it began production in 2005.

“I welcome the quick reaction of those involved. There are inherent risks in oil and gas extraction in the North Sea and west of Shetland both to the offshore workforce and the marine environment.

“In this case the weather appears to have broken up the 95 tonnes of oil in the sea and the wind direction at NNE has taken the sheen away from Shetland.

“The priority now must be to minimise the threat to seabirds and other marine life, understand why mechanical failure occurred and put in place measures to ensure this does not happen again.”

Scottish environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said Marine Scotland, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and BP have all been assessing the impact of the leak.

Conservative MSP for West of Scotland Maurice Golden meanwhile asked the Scottish Government what plans they have to support a “large-scale decommissioning port in Shetland or elsewhere” to provide jobs.

Cunningham simply confirmed that the government is “always on the lookout for potential further development that may help the economy of Scotland.”