An oil spill of about 95 tonnes from a platform off Shetland is heading away from land, BP has said. The energy giant said oil had been observed on the sea surface, and seemed to be moving north. The oil was released into the water from the Clair platform on Sunday, BBC reports.

 

BP said: "At present, we believe the most appropriate response is to allow the oil to disperse naturally at sea, but contingencies for other action are being prepared." The company added: "The most likely volume of oil to sea has been calculated from platform data as 95 tonnes.

 

"Both direct observation from surveillance flights and oil spill modelling continue to show the oil moving in a northerly direction away from land. "The most recent surveillance flight already indicates significant dispersal of the oil at the surface."

 

The Clair platform is 75km (46 miles) west of Shetland. It was shut down after the leak.

 

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "I am closely monitoring the situation, which I understand to be the result of the rig discharging 'produced water' containing a much larger than usual amount of oil.

 

"The oil residue is moving away from the shore and, as such, there is a low risk to bird species at this time of year. The nearby Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt Marine Protected Area is home to deep-water sponges 400-600m below the sea surface.

 

"Marine Scotland have advised that allowing the oil to weather naturally is the least harmful option for this internationally important marine habitat."

 

Photo: Getty images

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