Update on Gannet oil leak
Aug 17, 2011
Glen Cayley, Technical Director of Shell’s exploration and production activities in Europe, based in Aberdeen said: “We are making good progress in stopping the leakage from the flowline to the Gannet platform. As mentioned yesterday the flow rate currently stands at less than one barrel a day.”
Extensive activity is planned for today to address the situation. This activity includes deploying divers and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to remove panels and gratings to assess the ability to close the valve safely.
Crucial to this assessment is to ensure the continued safety of our divers and we have extensive resources both internal and external on assessing the work that needs to be done. This will include a detailed review that will be undertaken by our diving centre of excellence.
Today we are also continuing works to secure the flowline. As you are aware to ensure the stability of the flowline and decrease the leak we depressurised the line. A related effect of that crucial step to secure the situation is that we are seeing some buoyancy in the line and will address this today through use of rock mattresses – a known industry procedure to secure pipelines.
Mr Cayley continued: I must stress again how much we regret this incident, that the situation is under control and we are working towards a swift solution. However I cannot stress enough the need to undertake detailed risk assessments and ensure any work considered is undertaken safely.
Containment options are also being progressed as a longer term option.
We would also like to recognise those working on this situation. We have four technical groups supporting our core response team, in addition to working alongside the relevant authorities (DECC, MCA, Marine Scotland, Scottish Government, HSE) to develop solutions, manage the incident and minimise its environmental impact.