UPDATE: A second leak has been discovered, reports The BBC.
EARLIER: The British government estimates over 1,300 barrels of oil may have leaked from one of Shell’s North Sea platforms, reports The Guardian.
So far Shell is downplaying the incident.
“We continue to expect that the oil sheen will disperse naturally due to wave action and that it will not reach the shore,” said Glen Cayley, technical director of Shell’s exploration and production activities in Europe.
However, Greenpeace has released a statement criticising Shell for as the spill — the worst in the UK for 10 years — was not publicly acknowledged by the company for not releasing details of the leak earlier:
If Shell can’t prevent an oil spill in the ‘ultra safe’ North Sea, we have to ask how they’ll manage in the pristine wilderness of the Arctic, where extreme conditions mean that any oil spill would be all but impossible to clean up?
Meanwhile, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has released a statement that says that while the spill is still small compared to last year’s spill in the Gulf of Mexico — which eventually hit 4.9 million barrels — it is still “substantial”.