It is expected that this operation, carried out at a water depth of 91m (300ft), will recover the majority of the oil in the carrier pipe. A secondary operation is planned to take place in Spring 2013 due to constraints in the recovery vessel availability and the sequence of oil recovery. During the second operation, the flowlines within the carrier pipe will also be flushed clean.
Shell is working in close co-operation with the Secretary of State’s Representative, and with the support of other relevant authorities including DECC, Health and Safety Executive, Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Marine Scotland.
The area around the Gannet Field and the subsea flowline have been under observation since the oil leak was stopped and no subsequent release has been detected.
A Shell spokesperson said: “Following the work to vent trapped gas last November we have agreed with the relevant authorities a way forward which will enable us to commence safe and controlled removal of the residual oil held within the pipeline, an important part of the remediation process which we expect to be complete next year”.
*For further details please contact Shell UK’s media office on 0207 934 5550.