Sheen of oil still a puzzle
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.