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Shell Arctic problems mount with diesel spill fears

Royal Dutch Shell plc Arctic problems mount with diesel spill fears

Written by Roberta Murray: Published on Friday, 11 January 2013 09:47

Royal Dutch Shell plc’s Arctic problems mounted as it emerged that hundreds of gallons of fuel may have leaked during the grounding of its Kulluk rig and the US Interior Secretary branded the company’s mishaps “troubling”.

Unified Command, which is managing the response to the Kulluk accident, said that up to 272 gallons of diesel fuel may have leaked from the tanks of four survival boats, which were dislodged from the Arctic rig “either while it was towed or when it grounded” off Alaska. “One tank is intact, two tanks have been damaged and one is inaccessible to be able to determine its condition,” it said.

The scale of any leak would be assessed when the tanks are recovered and mitigation action taken “if any fluids are identified to have been released on the shoreline”. While the potential leak is small in volume – equivalent to less than 10 barrels of oil – any spill would be highly embarrassing for Shell, which has staked its reputation on safe operations in the Arctic, reports the Telegraph.

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