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Monday, August 15, 2011

ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER: 100s of tons of oil leaked in North Sea spill - UK!

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Associated Press / / Posted on Aug 15, 2011 at 08:41pm IST.

London: The British government warned on Monday that several hundred tons of oil may have leaked into the North Sea from a Royal Dutch Shell rig. The Department for Energy and Climate Change said it estimates that the leak from a flow line at the Gannet Alpha platform off the Scottish coast that began last week could have spilled several hundred tons of oil into the sea.

It said the leak was small compared to the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, but said it was still substantial for the UK's continental shelf. The government said the oil would disperse naturally and was not expected to reach the shore.

It said Britain's offshore oil industry had a strong safety record, "which is why it is disappointing that this spill has happened. We take any spill very seriously and we will be investigating the causes of the spill and learning any lessons from the response to it."

The government said the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which monitors the waters around Britain, was making twice-daily flights over the area to monitor the situation.

Shell has declined to comment on the volume off the spill. It said in a statement released over the weekend that the spill covered a surface area of 19 miles by 2.7 miles (31 kilometers by 4.3 kilometers) and that the leak was under control.

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