(Adds details on spill size, comments from new statement)
LONDON Oct 3 A technical problem at BP's
Clair platform in the North Sea resulted in a spill of 95 tonnes
of oil that was allowed to disperse naturally into the sea, the
British oil major said on Monday.
Production at the platform, located 75 km west of the
Shetland Islands, was halted after the incident which took place
BP said it was working together with oil spill and
environmental experts from BP, Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL)
and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
(BEIS) to assess any potential environmental impact and to agree
the best way to respond.
"At present, we believe the most appropriate response is to
allow the oil to disperse naturally at sea, but contingencies
for other action are being prepared," BP said in a statement.
The most likely volume of oil that went into the sea during
the hour-long spill has been calculated from platform data as
around 95 tonnes, BP said.
By comparison, an average Suezmax tanker carries around
100,000 tonnes of oil.
"Both direct observation from surveillance flights and oil
spill modelling continue to show the oil moving in a northerly
direction away from land."
The most recent surveillance flight already indicates
significant dispersal of the oil at the surface.
Britain's BEIS said it would hold an investigation to
determine the cause of the incident, which is standard
"We are working closely with BP and the Maritime and
Coastguard Agency to resolve the incident on the Clair
platform," a spokesman said.
There have been no reported injuries, the department added.
(Reporting by Ron Bousso and Karolin Schaps; Editing by David
Goodman and David Evans)