BP announced that the oil spill near the Clair North Sea platform west of Shetland has dispersed and can no longer be seen at the sea surface.
The oil release happened as a result of a technical fault on the platform, which led BP to shut production completely.
“BP continues to monitor oil released to sea from the Clair platform following a technical issue on Sunday [October 2nd 2016] with all data showing that the release is continuing to move in a northerly direction away from land and is being rapidly dispersed naturally,” BP said in a statement.
UPDATE: North Sea Platform Still Shut after Leak
“It is considered that the most appropriate response remains to allow the oil to continue to disperse naturally at sea, but contingencies for other action have been prepared and are available,” the company added.
Initial conclusions from the firm’s assessment work show that the impact of the oil spill is expected to be “minimal”, BP said.
Clair Ridge development, West of Shetland
Until now, seven flights have been carried out, without any visible signs of oil on the sea surface, which suggests a quick and significant natural dispersion.
As soon as the weather permits it, the company plans to collect water samples to assess the impact further.
Clair Oil Spill Released 95 Tonnes to Sea
BP is currently investigating the cause of the incident and the field will remain shut for now.
Meanwhile, the company estimates that approximately 95 tonnes of oil have gone to sea from the platform.
“Oil spill and environmental experts from BP, Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have been working together to assess any potential environmental impacts,” the company added.
“It is considered that the most appropriate response remains to allow the oil to disperse naturally at sea, but contingencies for other action have been prepared and are available, if required.
Five surveillance flights have so far been deployed to monitor the release with a further three today [Tuesday, 4th October],” the company stated further.
The Clair platform is located 75 kilometres (46.6 miles) west of the Shetland Islands.