The UK Government’s energy minister has pledged that more information about oil and gas spills in the North Sea will be made public.
Charles Hendry said oil spill data would be made available more quickly on the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) website.
He also revealed that all information on spills reported to DECC from the start of this year would go online. The decision was made after calls for more transparency following a major oil spill from Shell’s Gannet Alpha platform last year.More than 200 tonnes of oil poured into the North Sea in August from a leak in a pipeline 112 miles east of Aberdeen.
Mr Hendry, who was at Total UK managing director Philippe Guys’s side during the company’s press conference in Aberdeen yesterday, said: “It is very important that the incident is dealt with in an open and transparent way. From Monday, my department will be making all the oil spill data available more quickly on the DECC website.
“Information on spills which have been reported to DECC going back to the beginning of the year will be put on there as well.”
At the time of Shell’s Gannet Alpha leak, only the amount spilled was made public, some time after the event and without disclosing which installation or operator was responsible.
Industry body Oil & Gas UK recently started publishing quarterly figures with information on all releases known about, including how much and what was released, from which platform and which company was in charge.
Meanwhile, Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said he was pleased more information was being made public about the Elgin platform leak.
Earlier this week he called for “absolute transparency” from Total and the UK Government.
He revealed he had spoken to Mr Guy and Mr Hendry.