Shell less than transparent about worst UK oil spill in a decade

Posted by bex — 15 August 2011 at 12:52pm - Comments
Shell/Esso's Kittiwake platform, North Sea
All rights reserved. Credit: Fred Dott / Greenpeace
Shell/Esso's Kittiwake platform, North Sea (1996)

As I write, Shell is working to contain an oil spill off the Aberdeenshire coast that is already, reportedly, the worst spill in UK waters for over a decade. 

As well as indulging in some shameless greenwashing (Shell is choosing to call the spill and the resulting 50 square mile slick a gentle sounding "oil sheen"), the oil giant has been less than transparent about the spill from the moment it started.

The pipeline started leaking last Wednesday; it took Shell until Friday to publicly confirm the accident.  

Five days on, we still don't have enough information to know how serious the spill is. Shell hasn't confirmed how much oil has been leaked (although it's widely thought to be around 100 tonnes) and the company is also assuring the public that the leak is "under control" while, according to many reports, oil continues to pour out from the Gannet Alpha platform.

What we do know is that, according to most oil companies and the UK government, an oil spill in the North Sea is meant to be very unlikely.

North Sea drilling is regularly held up as a gold standard for oil drilling safety regulations, and ministers tell us that the risk of a Deepwater Horizon style blow out in the UK is small. In fact, BP thought the risk so small that it decided not to consider the consequences of a blowout in their North Sea emergency spill response plan. 

The fact that accidents evidently can and do happen - Shell had a near miss back in 2009 on a platform they'd contracted to Transocean - is why we went to the High Court a few months ago to seek a legal challenge to the government's decision to issue 26 new licences for deep water drilling in UK waters.

The High Court judge gave us the green light, raising the serious prospect that the government will no longer be able to continue to rubber stamp dangerous deep water oil projects without assessing the environmental damage that a spill could have should one happen, despite George Osborne's apparent enthusiasm for squeezing as much oil out of the North Sea as he can.

The events presently playing out in the North Sea are also worrying on another count - Shell is among the companies looking to move into risky drilling in the Arctic

If Shell can't prevent an oil spill in the 'ultra safe' North Sea, we have to ask how they'll manage in the pristine wilderness of the Arctic, where extreme conditions mean that any oil spill would be all but impossible to clean up? 

100 tonnes? please....this is less than 5 transport tracks...get a grip because you are harming your cause this way...

About 720 barrels if one barrel = 139 kg.

Why am I not surprised that another oil company goes out of his way to lie and manipulate the numbers from yet another spill?! When is humanity gonna move past the oil addiction to actually clean up this oil poluted world we know so well?

Another #oilspill, more lies, playing down the numbers and the risks! Grrrr!

I'm ashamed to be a human in this corrupted, money obsessed world!!!!!!!!!! Yikes!!!!!!!!!

It's bloody awfull, it feels like it never ends... These money-grabbing b*****ards don't give a damn about our planet, so long as proffits are there, it's all that matters to them! It makes me so angry, I want to make them eat the oil they have spilt!

Solon Sarfatti - please read this press release from the RSPB regarding the significance of the quanity of oil spilled and the consequences for seabirds: http://www.rspb.org.uk/media/releases/287011-rspb-scotland-respond-to-no...

It doesn't matter how much or how little oil is spilt - the seas and its precious marine life can only suffer so much.  That is why so many creatures are on the brink of extinction.  ENOUGH is ENOUGH.  Apparently Shell are reporting that the oil will disperse naturally - where the hell to???

Try putting a spoonful of oil in a small 'fish' tank and see where the oil goes..............basically they are hoping that naturally the oil will get washed all over the place and we won't be able to see it anymore so no problem.  If these oil giants have kids, they should be thinking about their future - selfish b*****ds.  I would like to see Shell at the Offshore Europe conference early September in Aberdeen......wipe their faces with a barrel of oil and see how it burns.....sorry but they deserve it.

Greenpeace whinging again. Wyatt made an ass of herself on the broadcast. What EXACTLY did Shell do wrong? Apart from not notifying the treehuggers. Have you forgotten how appallingly Greenpeace behaved over the Spar? Why should ANYBODY listen to you. Join the rest of us in the real world. This was a MINOR event, addressed in an appropriate manner, reported as required. Just what would Greenpeace add to the activity? I think we all know don't we......!

What EXACTLY did Shell do wrong? Apart from not notifying the treehuggers.

Or anyone, it seems.

But they DID notify everybody they had to i.e. the sensible folk who contribute to a solution. Not the loons who moan about those ******** (that's a quote from two of your number!)

But they DID notify everybody they had to i.e. the sensible folk who contribute to a solution. Not the loons who moan about those ******** (that's a quote from two of your number!)

Perhaps theyll TRY the EVIL-SIEMEN'S new, magical spill-cleanup "technology" in response: Loading up surface-booms with TOXIC coal-ash waste to absorb it AND dumping more mega-tons of coal-ash on top of the open-water slicks as a 'separating-dispersent'... sound familiar?!?

~BTW: THIS IS AN EX-MOB/ESSO platform, operated by the equally IRRESPONSIBLE, UNCONSCIONABLE, and INCOMPETENT SHELL Co!!! These CEOs blong in PRISON with ALL assets garnished to clean-up and STOP THEIR Eco-Terrorist Destructions!!  

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Greenpeace - a question for you. Do comments such as those from Savvy slicks aid your cause? I think not. These are the ravings of an ecowarrior loon and the reason REASONABLE THINKING people would never support your cause. And his BTW is just b--------s!!!!!

I'm ashamed to be a human in this corrupted, money obsessed world toooo! y8

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