Oil Spill: Undersea Pipeline In North Sea Leaks 1,300 Barrels
Big Oil has a shameful history. That’s why in this series we are highlighting some of its most recent disastrous oil spills and raising awareness of the devastation that will occur if the industry is allowed to drill in the Arctic and off our coasts. Join us in the effort to protect our special places from drilling!
An undersea pipeline extending from the Gannet Alpha Platform in the North Sea began leaking on August 7, 2011. An estimated 1,300 barrels of oil leaked into the ocean creating an oil slick of almost 40 square miles and making it the worst spill in the North Sea in over a decade. Shell and Exxon, who operate the platform, kept the leak a secret for two days before reporting it. Their secretive behavior continued as they issued conflicting reports on the amount of oil spilled and the progress of cleanup efforts. The spill put sea birds, whales, dolphins, fish and other wildlife at risk. During the time of the spill, large numbers of molting and flightless guillemots and razorbills were near the west of the Gannet Alpha platform. Sea birds do not just sit still; young chicks and and adult birds leave the colonies and the spreading oil could greatly affect their travels and threaten their lives.This North Sea spill was just one of ten leaks at the Gannet Alpha platform between 2009 and 2010.
By Jessie Tucker