Shell gets go–ahead for pipe oil recovery

Shell has been given the go-ahead to recover the residual oil still trapped in a subsea pipeline, following last August’s major spill at the company’s Gannet platform.

A year ago divers succeeded in shutting off the leaking oil valve on the subsea pipeline which had been at the centre of the North Sea’s biggest oil spill for a decade – nine days after the emergency on the Gannet platform began.

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It has been estimated that between 188 and 225 tonnes remain trapped inside the 24 inch pipeline, 300ft below the surface and 112 miles east of Aberdeen.

A Shell spokeswoman said: “It is expected that this operation, carried out at a water depth of 300ft, will recover the majority of the oil in the carrier pipe. A secondary operation is planned to take place in spring 2013.”