Shell: Gannet Alpha Pipe Leaked in Two Places, From Same Source

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), Aug. 16, 2011

Two leaks have occurred on an undersea pipeline at Shell's Gannet Alpha platform in recent days, the Anglo-Dutch major confirmed Tuesday, but said it believed both come from the same initial source.

"The leak source remains the same. The initial release path was stopped on Thursday, however the oil found a second pathway to the sea," Shell said in a statement.

"We believe now that the flow is coming from a relief valve adjacent to the original leak and from the same source," said Shell. "Once we've confirmed this we will then develop a series of mitigation options to stop this leak. There is no new leak."

Shell said Monday it estimates 216 metric tons, or 1,300 barrels, of oil has already spilled into the sea. This would make the spill the U.K.'s largest since 2000.

Earlier Tuesday, a senior Shell executive was cited by local media as saying a second leak is continuing to spill crude into the North Sea after the main leak discovered last Wednesday was effectively stemmed.

Shell said the second leak took longer to find because of its awkward position "amid complex subsea infrastructure."

Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.