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Energy / BP disputes Greenpeace’s oil spill claims

Greenpeace Germany oceans campaigner Sandra Schoettner shows her gloves after she took a sample of an oil spill at the Andrew oil field. Photo: Marten van Dijl/Greenpeace

OIL company BP has insisted there has been no oil spill from its Andrew platform, 140 miles northeast of Aberdeen, after activists from Greenpeace said they had recorded pollution originating from the installation.

Greenpeace said they had “witnessed” the spill from its ship Esperanza on Saturday and reported the incident to Marine Scotland and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) the following day.

The environmental activists, currently campaigning in the North Sea, said aerial photographs clearly show that the pollution originates from the Andrew platform, operated by BP.

BP in Aberdeen said on Tuesday morning that water produced from platform operations was discharged to the sea in accordance with applicable regulation.

A company spokesman said: “BP, as a responsible operator, carries out continuous monitoring analysis in addition to sampling as required by UK regulation.

“The results of this analysis and sampling have been shared with the regulator and the composition of produced water from Andrew is within approved limits.

“BP will continue to analyse the produced water from Andrew to ensure this remains the case.

The spokesman added: “There is not a spill at the Andrew platform.”

This video grab captured from drone footage shows oil floating on the surface of the North Sea in the Andrew oilfield.

Climate finance adviser for Greenpeace UK Charlie Kronick responded: “Given the scale of the pollution witnessed, which goes beyond the 500m exclusion zone, it’s troubling if this is considered normal operating practice.

“Greenpeace campaigners on board the Esperanza attempted to contact the rig for clarification but did not receive a response, before reporting the incident to Marine Scotland Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

“We look forward to hearing from the Scottish authorities.”

Earlier he said: “No oil operation can guarantee they won’t spill, causing damage to wildlife and the local environment.

“The twin challenges of protecting the climate and clearing up the mess in the North Sea shows categorically that this is the time to start winding up the oil industry.

“The UK government must hugely increase its ambitions for offshore wind, ensuring that oil and gas workers are supported into clean sustainable jobs.”

Meanwhile, Greenpeace said they also documented a large methane leak on the seabed which the group claimed had been caused by a major blow-out during an oil drilling operation 30 years ago.