Sheen of oil still a puz­zle

The Press and Journal (Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

Mys­tery re­mains over the ori­gin of an oil sheen that led to a North Sea pro­duc­tion shutdown.

Re­spol Sinopec was forced to halt the flow at the Mon­trose Al­pha and Ar­broath plat­forms af­ter a sup­ply ves­sel raised the alarm at 10am on March 11.

Crew on the ves­sel alerted the in­stal­la­tion man­agers af­ter spot­ting the sheen on the sur­face of the sea near the Mon­strose area plat­forms.

Rep­sol said pro­duc­tion was shut down on a sub­sea pipe­line then restarted at a lower pres­sure than nor­mal to check if there was a leak.

How­ever no re­lease was de­tected and pro­duc­tion has now re­sumed at nor­mal rates.

Tests later ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity that the hy­dro­car­bon re­lease came from ei­ther plat­form as the sam­ples from the sheen did not match those from the pipe­line.

Sub­sea 7’s DSV the Seven Falcon ar­rived on site equipped with a re­motely op­er­ated ve­hi­cle to in­ves­ti­gate 24 hours af­ter the sheen was spot­ted.

A Re­spol Sinopec spokesman said yes­ter­day that no ev­i­dence of a leak was found but in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­mained “on­go­ing”. The Mon­trose and Ar­broath plat­forms are lo­cated 125 miles east of Aberdeen. Mon­trose Al­pha is one of the old­est plat­forms.

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