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Posts Tagged ‘North Sea Oil Spill’

Shell charged over biggest North Sea oil leak in more than a decade

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Energy giant Shell has been charged over a major oil leak from a North Sea platform four years ago. 

The equivalent of more than 1300 barrels of oil spilled into the sea from the Gannet Alpha in August 2011, the largest leak in more than a decade. 

The UK Government carried out an investigation into the incident and Shell now faces charges over the spill, as well as pipeline maintenance and health and safety. 

Shell was able to bring the leak 112 miles east of Aberdeen under control but then faced a smaller leak which was spilling around 80 gallons of oil a day.  read more

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Gas work at Shell Gannet Alpha leak pipeline completed

4 November 2011

Work to release gas trapped in a pipeline which spilled more than 200 tonnes of oil into the North Sea has been completed, Shell has said.

Divers earlier closed a relief valve after the incident at the Gannet Alpha platform in August.

Shell said the latest operation on the 4km structure had “further enhanced its stability and security”.

Plans are being made to deal with the remaining oil in the pipeline. An investigation into the leak is ongoing.

The impact of the oil spill in the North Sea was minimal, Scottish Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead said in September. read more

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Oil leaks from supply vessel during refuelling


Saturday 24 September 2011 Page 8

Extract

BY CHRISTINA LAVELLE

AROUND 1,500 litres of oil leaked from an offshore supply vessel in Aberdeen harbour yesterday.

The spill occurred when the Skandi Foula, owned by Shell, was being refuelled at Torry dock.

A clean-up operation was under way last night and it is understood around 500 litres of oil were recovered.

A spokesman for Shell said the leak had been stopped.

It is the second reported oil spill the company has experienced in as many months.

In August the oil giant faced criticised after more than 200 tonnes of oil spilled into the North Sea from its Gannet Alpha platform, about two miles east of Aberdeen. It was the worst oil spill in the region in more than a decade. read more

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Saturday 17 Sept 2011: Explosion warning over Shell platform

The Press and Journal

Explosion warning over Shell platform

Saturday, September 17 2011

Front page lead story running on to page 2.

BY RYAN CRIGHTON

UNDER-PRESSURE oil giant Shell has been issued with an official safety warning over explosion risks at one of its ageing North Sea platforms.

The Health and Safety Executive is raising fears once again about the 35- year-old Brent Charlie platform, which has recorded 61 oil and gas leaks in a decade.

It emerged last night that the company has been served with an improvement notice over its failure to take action to identify “events” that could lead to a major accident, fire or explosion following a gas release. read more

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Shell May Face Prosecution For North Sea Spill – UK Minister

By Alexis Flynn

Published September 15, 2011 Dow Jones Newswires

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN) may be prosecuted for the U.K.’s worst oil spill in a decade after Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne confirmed an investigation into a 10-day leak from the oil major’s Gannet Alpha platform last month will be sent to Scotland’s public prosecutor.

“My department and the Health and Safety Executive have commenced investigations into the cause of the incident,” said Huhne, adding it would likely “take some months.” read more

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Shell Brent Charlie Platform Shut-In Since July – Regulator

“A prohibition notice was served on Shell July 1 over hydrocarbon release issues on the Brent C platform. The rig is currently ‘shut in’…


SEPTEMBER 14, 2011

LONDON (Dow Jones)–The U.K. offshore regulator issued Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN) with two warnings in July for safety incidents at its aged Brent Charlie platform in the North Sea, the Health and Safety Executive website showed Wednesday.

One of the warnings is a more serious prohibition notice, which indicates there is an elevated risk of injury, while the other is an improvement notice, which gives an operator a period of time to correct a potential risk. read more

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SCOTTISH OIL RIGS IN DIRE STRAITS

Mr Campbell insisted it is only a matter of time before there is another major tragedy in the North Sea. He said: “According to public domain data there were 85 gas releases and 443 dangerous occurrences last year. If you are getting 85 gas leaks that’s one and a half, or two, leaks a week. The probability of an undesirable event is very high.”


CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

By John Donovan

The Sunday Express has today published an article under the headline: “Rusting rigs spark fears of oil tragedy” (above newspaper article) and “SCOTTISH OIL RIGS IN DIRE STRAITS” (online version).

The newspaper approached us for assistance and we were happy to supply extensive information, including the revealing letter we obtained from the Health & Safety Executive that is mentioned in the article.

We also put the Sunday Express journalist Paula Murray into contact with Bill Campbell, the retired HSE Group Auditor of Shell International to led the safety audit team on Shell North Sea platforms in 1999 which exposed a “Touch F*** All” maintenance culture with bodged repairs and falsified safety records. A more recent report (in 2008) by upstreamonline revealed that even the oil rig lifeboats were not seaworthy.
read more

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Leaked Shell Sigma3 document may hold clue to cause of Gannet oil spill

By John Donovan

We are in possession of a 30 page plus Sigma3 document prepared for Shell U.K. Exploration and Production in relation to Gannet. It may hold a clue to the cause of the recent Shell Gannet oil spill into the North Sea, the largest for a decade.

Sigma3 is a consortium comprising Amec, Petroleum Services Network and Wood Group, which maintains Shell’s North Sea platforms.

According to Shell:

“Sigma 3 team is based inside the Shell organisation gives us a seamless alignment and insight into the real problems being addressed daily in keeping the assets running safely and efficiently.” read more

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Another North Sea disaster

So let’s deregulate and make a dash for abandonment at minimum cost and hope we get lucky seems to be the game.  And also let’s put the Chairman of the North Sea’s worst offending Company in charge of the process. Hopefully sense will prevail before the next almost inevitable major accident event when one of the 85 gas leaks per year coincides with a source of ignition.

COMMENT SENT BY BILL CAMPBELL TO ROWENA MASON ON HER RECENT TELEGRAPH ARTICLE: Former Shell chairman James Smith to lead deregulation of UK oil and gas industry

Rowena – interesting article

With some 50 serious injuries a year (up by 20) and over 400 reported dangerous occurrences 85 of which were losses of containment of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere (1) it seems an inappropriate time to reduce regulation. Apart from the recent oil spill on Gannet where Shell accept a causal factor may have been lack of maintenance and inspection, with the HSE stating publicly that lack of maintenance offshore could have severe consequences generally across the oilfield, it seems that better and more proactive oversight of this industry is needed rather than less. read more

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Former Shell chairman James Smith to lead deregulation of UK oil and gas industry

WHAT WILL BILL CAMPBELL MAKE OF THIS? PUTTING A FOX IN CHARGE OF THE HEN HOUSE?

The Government has appointed James Smith, the former UK chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, to lead a radical deregulation of the oil and gas industry.

By 6:00AM BST 07 Sep 2011

Charles Hendry, the energy minister, promised oil executives at Aberdeen’s annual Offshore Europe conference that they would be facing less regulatory oversight in years to come.

Mr Smith, the longtime head of Shell UK, who retired this year, will start gathering opinions in November from companies on how to cut regulation.

“You are not going to see more regulation,” Mr Hendry told delegates. “What we badly need is input from industry on how to reduce the burden of regulation. The approach of ticking boxes you see in other countries, that’s not the UK’s way of doing things.” read more

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UK Offshore Regulator Mulls Naming North Sea Spill Offenders

The organization tasked with policing safety on U.K. North Sea oil and gas installations said Wednesday it is prepared to change the way it publishes information on leaks and other incidents, amid criticism of a lack of transparency around Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s recent spill at the Gannet Alpha platform.

By Alexis Flynn Published September 07, 2011 Dow Jones Newswires

ABERDEEN, Scotland -(Dow Jones)- The organization tasked with policing safety on U.K. North Sea oil and gas installations said Wednesday it is prepared to change the way it publishes information on leaks and other incidents, amid criticism of a lack of transparency around Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s (RDSA) recent spill at the Gannet Alpha platform.

“There has been pressure on us to be more transparent, there is more expected on this,” said Steve Walker, head of the Health and Safety Executive’s offshore division. “We could do it in a more attributable way.” read more

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Warning North Sea oil platforms could be near collapse

STV News has been shown footage many platforms are severely corroded and have exceeded their intended lifespan by up to 20 years.

“All we’re waiting for is a fat hot spark to coincide with the next loss of containment and we’re away into a multi-fatality event, serious damage to the assets and probably huge environmental losses.”


05 September 2011 15:50 BST

Link to stv news report featuring comments by Bill Campbell: http://bcove.me/0u7ostns

Warning North Sea oil platforms could be near collapse

STV News has been shown footage many platforms are severely corroded and have exceeded their intended lifespan by up to 20 years.

05 September 2011 15:50 BST

STV News has been given footage which shows how close some North Sea platforms are to collapse.

It comes amid growing concerns raised by the Health and Safety executive that many companies are not maintaining the installations – most of which are now working decades beyond their intended lifespan. read more

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No Explanation Yet For Shell North Sea Oil Spill – UK Minister

SEPTEMBER 6, 2011

ABERDEEN, Scotland (Dow Jones)–There is still no clear explanation for what caused an oil leak at a Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) North Sea platform that took more than a week to stanch, U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change Minister Charles Hendry said Tuesday.

“We don’t yet understand is the full background to what happened with Gannet Alpha,” said Hendry, speaking at an industry conference here.

An investigation into the spill by is currently underway. Some 218 metric tons of oil spilled into the ocean for ten days from Aug. 10 before Shell was able to close an underwater relief valve on a leaking subsea pipeline. Around 660 tons of oil still remains trapped in the pipeline while Shell analyzes how to safely remove it. read more

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Shell’s North Sea Reputation sunk by severe corrosion

“The drip, drip, drip of negative information has been every bit as corrosive to the company’s reputation as the oil leaking from its pipe. It was not until a week after the oil was first spotted that the company apologised.”

By John Donovan

We have printed below extensive articles published over three pages of The Sunday Times on 21 August 2011.

It was this development which sparked a number of other major news stories published the following day.

The Sunday Times approached us for our help, which we were pleased to provide over a number of days. We put the newspaper into contact with our Shell related sources, including Bill Campbell. We provided a considerable volume of information from our extensive files. We also supplied documents referred to in the article, including the letter the HSE offshore division sent to Shell on 18 July 2011, which we now put into the public domain. This was kindly supplied to us by the HSE press office.
read more

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Shell plans to remove oil from damaged North Sea pipe, U.K. says

Houston Chronicle: August 22, 2011 at 12.31 pm by Bloomberg

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, plans to remove crude remaining in a North Sea pipeline that leaked this month, the U.K. government said.

“Shell now plans to continue to secure the pipeline to protect it from the threat of storm or tidal damage,” Hugh Shaw, a government representative overseeing the operation, said today in an e-mailed statement. The work may take about 36 hours.

Shell divers closed the Gannet Alpha platform flow line off Scotland on Aug. 19. The company identified the leak after spotting a sheen on the water on Aug. 10. The pipeline still holds as much as 660 metric tons of crude, according to Glen Cayley, an Aberdeen, Scotland-based technical director at Shell’s exploration and production unit in Europe. read more

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Investigation into leak at Shell’s North Sea platform to get under way news

It has also emerged over the weekend that an internal investigation into Shell’s Gannet plaforms in 2003 had raised concerns over unapproved repairs and unreliable fire sensors. This is clear from papers held by Bill Campbell, a former senior Shell employee, who has questioned the company’s environmental and safety record.

22 August 2011

Shell says according to its estimates a leak at one of its platforms, 110 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland had spewed 1,300 barrels of oil. The leak was detected on 10 August.

Following the spill, UK government inspectors are preparing to question a number of key players involved in the North Sea oil leak. This would include staff on the platform, officials at the company’s headquarters and the helicopter pilot who spotted the sheen.

Meanwhile, even as the investigation gets under way, an analysis of oil and chemical leaks from Shell’s Gannet platforms showed that the platform had seen at least 34 spillages since 2002, ranging from 1litre to 590 barrels. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com