Oil firm Shell is battling to contain an oil leak discovered on one of its North Sea platforms.

Shell says the leak has been stemmed

The Anglo-Dutch company said the leak was found in a flow line connecting an oil well to the Gannet Alpha platform 112 miles east of Aberdeen.

It is not known how much oil has been spilt but a clean-up vessel and spotter plane have been sent to the site.

A Shell spokesman said: "We have stemmed the leak significantly and we are taking further measures to isolate it. The subsea well has been shut in, and the flow line is being de-pressurised."
A spokesman for the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "We are responding to the incident and will investigate in accordance with our investigations policy.

"We understand from Shell that there is a finite amount of oil that can be released."

Scotland's Green party co-leader Patrick Harvie said: "It's too early to tell how serious this spill is, but it is imperative now that Shell act both urgently and efficiently.

"They must also keep the public and the authorities properly informed about progress, something BP failed to do during the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster last year."

The Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April 2010

The field is co-owned by Esso, a subsidiary of American oil company Exxon, but is operated by Shell.

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 was the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

Oil flowed out of the leaking pipe for three months, causing damage to wildlife and destroying the livelihoods of dozens of US fishermen.

The disaster caused hefty losses for BP and a raft of compensation claims, many of which still need to be paid out.

Oil Firm Shell Battles To Contain Spill In The North Sea Off The Coast Of Scotland | UK News | Sky News