Leak discovered in north sea oil well

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Oil giant Shell has confirmed that a leak has been discovered in an oil pipeline on one of its platforms in the north sea.

The pipeline connects the Gannet Alpha platform to an oil well 112 miles from Aberdeen and is said to have been leaking for a day.

The company has said that the leak has now been significantly stemmed and engineers were currently managing the situation to isolate it.

“We can confirm we are managing an oil leak in a flow line that serves the Shell-operated Gannet Alpha platform,” a spokesman said.

“We deployed a remote-operated vehicle to check for a subsea leak after a light sheen was noticed in the area.  We have stemmed the leak significantly and are taking further measures to isolate it. The subsea well has been shut in, and the flow line is being de-pressurised.

“We continue to monitor the situation on the surface and subsea.  Also a stand-by vessel is on station with oil spill response equipment and dispersant if required.”

A spokesman for the Scottish government said the situation was being monitored and that ministers would be updated.

All four platforms serving Shell’s Brent field have been shut for maintenance after a piece of the Bravo platform fell into the sea in January.