Skip to main content

British Petroleum: North Sea

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 48240, tabled on 12 October 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the environmental impact of the oil spill in the North Sea from the BP Clair platform in early October 2016; what steps his Department has taken to ensure the effects of that incident are minimised; and whether he plans to seek a penalty from BP for any damage that results from that incident.

Answered on

19 October 2016

BP estimates that approximately 95 tonnes of oil was released from the Clair installation.

Extensive aerial surveillance was undertaken by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and by BP, and oil spill modelling indicated that all the oil would have dispersed within 5-10 days. All the oil has now dispersed from the sea surface.

Marine Scotland advised that they did not consider that the spill would have any significant environmental impacts. Samples of seawater were also collected by Marine Scotland and these are currently being tested.

Departmental officials visited the installation immediately after the incident and are now involved in carrying out a thorough investigation, not only to determine the cause of the incident, but to learn the lessons from it and further actions to be taken. The investigation is focussed on all aspects of the incident including any underlying factors which may have contributed.