An investigation has been launched after a suspected gas leak in the North Sea.
Oil major Shell, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will review the incident, which happened earlier this week close to the Curlew Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO).
Specialist divers from the Bibby Polaris Dive Support Vessel (DSV) are currently on site to close two vales which will isolate the vessel from the Fulmar pipeline.
There are currently 91 personnel onboard the vessel and Shell said it had “no plans” to evacuate staff.
A spokeswoman for Shell said the suspected leak from the FPSO, which is 130 miles south east of Aberdeen, was detected several hundred metres away from the vessel.
She said:“Shell UK can confirm that a release of gas occurred from infrastructure in the vicinity of Shell’s Curlew Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO) located approximately 130 miles south east of Aberdeen late on Monday, January 19, 2015.
“A release of gas was detected several hundred meters away from the FPSO at approximately 2300hrs.
“Initial indications were that the escape had occurred from the subsea infrastructure close to the FPSO, which is connected to the Fulmar Gas Line exporting gas to the St Fergus terminal.
“Specialist divers from the Bibby Polaris – Dive Support Vessel (DSV) are currently on site to close two valves which will isolate the Curlew FPSO from the Fulmar pipeline. In addition another detailed investigation of the isolated infrastructure, adjacent to Curlew, will be undertaken by the Normand Subsea with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).
“Once our initial investigation is complete into the cause of the gas escape, and we believe it is safe to do so, we will recommence gas export from the various producers connected to the Fulmar Gas line to the St Fergus Gas Plant.
“All personnel are safe and accounted for. The relevant authorities have been informed.”
Last year Shell announced it would sell off three of its North Sea fields as its kicked off a £9billion asset sale.
The company said it would be focusing on a number of projects including investments in Schiehallion and Clair, as well as its Beryl and Curlew FPSO’s.
The Curlew FPSO produces oil and gas in the Central North Sea.
It exports gas via the Fulmar Gas Line to St Fergus and exports oil from an offtake tanker.
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