Tavish Scott MSP today questioned the Scottish Government over the impact of the leak at the Clair oil platform 55 kilometres west of Shetland. The spill happened on Sunday morning after a piece of equipment failed on the Clair rig. A BP investigation is underway to discover the reasons for the leak.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham confirmed that Marine Scotland, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and BP have been amongst the agencies working to assess the environmental impact of the leak on Sunday morning. BP has shared an initial environmental assessment with government and environmental organisations today. Water samples will be taken by BP but the spill of around 95 tonnes of oil will be left to disperse naturally.
Commenting afterwards, Tavish said:
“This is the first known leak at the Clair platform since it began production in 2005. I welcome the quick reaction of those involved. There are inherent risks in oil & gas extraction in the North Sea and west of Shetland both to the offshore workforce and the marine environment. In this case the weather appears to have broken up the 95 tonnes of oil in the sea and the wind direction at NNE has taken the sheen away from Shetland.
“The priority now must be to minimise the threat to seabirds and other marine life, understand why mechanical failure occurred and put in place measures to ensure this does not happen again.”
Notes: A video of Tavish's exchange with the Environment Secretary is available here.