The oil spill in the North Sea via BBC News screengrab
Oil Spill

Second leak discovered as North Sea oil spill is the 'worst for a decade'

The oil spill from a Shell platform is estimated to be the worst in ten years in the North Sea.

A SECOND LEAK has been found on the North Sea oil platform that lost 216 tonnes of oil last week, a spill described as the worst in a decade in the area.

BBC News reports that the second leak has been found beneath the Gannet Alpha oil platform 113 miles off the coast of Aberdeen in Scotland and that the oil company Shell was working to locate the leak.

Yesterday the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change said that the oil spill that was discovered last week near the platform – which amounts to around 1,300 barrels of oil being lost – was substantial but that the oil should disperse naturally.

Last year’s huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was estimated to be spilling up to 70,000 barrels a day from the BP platform.

The Telegraph reports that the total spill of 216 tonnes has exceeded the annuals totals for the area for the last ten years making it the worst spill there in a decade.

Greenpeace has expressed concern about the lack of information coming from Shell about the leak given it was discovered last Wednesday but not revealed to the public until Friday.

The Guardian reports that conservationists are warning that the leak could harm bird life in the area. Stuart Housden, director of Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Scotland, said: “We know oil of any amount, if in the wrong place, at the wrong time, can have a devastating impact on marine life.”

The papers adds that Shell is using remotely operated vehicles to stop the leaks and to monitor the effects.

In pictures: The Gulf oil spill devastation, one year on >

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