Shell says North Sea oil leak has clammed up

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Shell says North Sea oil leak has clammed up

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The oil company Shell has said a leak of crude in the North Sea has been reduced to a trickle with just two barrels per day escaping.

A pipeline linking the Gannet oilfield to the Scottish mainland 180 kilometres away sprang a leak last week causing Britain’s worst oil spill for more than a decade.

Ian Frances, from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Scotland said: “We don’t really know what kind of oil and we don’t know, critically, whether there is any concentration of birds immediately in the area. It doesn’t seem to be flowing, that information, at the moment. So there’s a risk, but we don’t know the scale of the risk yet.”

Environmental groups claim the company was not open and direct enough, pointing to a delay between the start of the leak and its being made public.

Shell countered saying the escape was centred in complicated underwater equipment and it wanted to be sure of its information before publicising the spill.