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Clair oil leak referred to prosecutors

BP said the oil from the Clair platform broke up naturally. Photo: MCA
Ninety five tonnes of crude oil were illegally discharged from Clair in October 2016. Photo: MCA

A LEAK from the Clair platform last year which spilled nearly 100 tonnes of oil into the sea west of Shetland has been referred to prosecutors.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) confirmed on Tuesday that a report into the leak had been submitted by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The incident happened on the Clair platform about 75 kilometres west of Shetland last October, with the oil dispersing naturally.

However, concerns were raised that the leak could have been much worse environmentally.

Operator 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.

The platform temporarily stopped production while investigations were carried out.

A spokesman for the COPFS said: “Following an investigation into the circumstances of an incident in October 2016 involving a release of oil at the BP Clair Phase 1 platform in the North Sea, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has submitted a report to COPFS.

“That report is now under the consideration of the Health and Safety Division of COPFS.”

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