Minor oil spill reported in North Sea

July 16, 2012 at 7:58 AM

LONDON, July 16 (UPI) -- The British government confirmed a minor oil spill in the North Sea occurred about 120 miles off the Shetland Islands.

The country's Department of Energy and Climate Change said around 64 barrels of oil spilled from an installation located about 120 miles off the coast of Shetland.

"Visual observations report that there continues to be a very small ongoing release of oil coming to the sea surface but that this dispersing rapidly," the agency stated.

Fairfield Energy, which owns the installation associated with the leak, confirmed the sheen near the vicinity of its Osprey development.

"Fairfield Energy are consequently arranging for a diving support vessel to implement the necessary repairs and enable production from the Osprey field to safely restart," the company said in a Monday statement

Oil leaked from Royal Dutch Shell's Gannet platform in the North Sea in August 2011. The release totaled around 1,300 barrels of oil, making it the largest oil spill in the region in more than a decade.

Experts led by researchers at Imperial College, London, called for more "robust arrangements" regarding liability while at the same time advocating a more integrated approach to dealing with safety and environmental management of North Sea energy.

The most recent spill "presents no risk to personnel and will have no impact on the environment," the DECC said.

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