Shell released details of the leak at the weekend saying it affected the Gannet field in the central North Sea around 112 miles east of Aberdeen.

The leak has been traced to a flow line in Shell’s Gannet Alpha platform and the company say it is ‘under control’.

Currently, Shell do not believe the spill will reach land and hope it will be naturally dispersed through wave action.

The damaged subsea well was shut down last Wednesday and the flowline on the seabed is now isolated and depressurised.

However, oil is still leaking from the pipeline, but the oil firm is claiming it has been ‘considerably reduced’.

The size of the sea surface affected is estimated to be some 31kms by 4.3kms at its widest point and the sheen is currently moving west from the field.

A spokesman for Shell said: “We take all spills seriously, regardless of size and we have responded promptly to this incident.”

Luke Walsh

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