Oil leaked from the 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.
The British Secretary of State's Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention said it approved Shell's plans to extract the residual oil left in a pipeline.
"The operation will recover the majority of the oil remaining in the carrier pipe, at a water depth of 300 feet," the British Department of Energy and Climate Change explained in a statement. "The flowlines of the carrier pipe will be flushed clean in a secondary operation planned to take place in spring 2013, with any remaining oil also safely removed."
No oil from the Gannet spill reached shore and much of the original sheen dispersed naturally. The DECC had said the main leak was stopped by Aug. 19, 2011, nine days after it was reported.