Shell reported over the weekend that it had stopped an oil leak at pipeline that had spilled about 54,000 gallons into the North Sea. But the company says today it found a secondary leak that is still pouring oil — about 84 gallons a day — from a difficult reach part of the platform, according to the Associated Press:
“The residual small leak is in an awkward position to get to,” he said. “This is complex sub-sea infrastructure, and really getting into it amongst quite dense marine growth is proving a challenge.
“It’s taken our diving crews some time to establish exactly and precisely where that leak is coming from.”
Cayley said at its largest, the oil sheen covered an area 19 miles wide by 2.7 miles long (31 kilometers by 4.3 kilometers). He said most of it has now been dispersed by strong waves and it would not hit shore.
Pending final approvals, Shell plans to do exploratory offshore drilling in the Arctic next summer. The admiral of the Coast Guard has raised concerns that there are no resources to handle a spill in the difficult-to-manage waters off the coast of Alaska, saying “we have no plan if something goes wrong.”