North Sea companies report 69 spills in last three months

There have been 69 reported incidents of oil and chemical spills in the North Sea during the last three months, figures have revealed.

A total of 18 companies have been named in the table of incidents published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The most recent one reported was the Total gas leak at the Elgin platform on March 25, with its status described as “under review”.

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Oil & Gas UK, which represents offshore companies, said the leaks were “relatively small” and many of the chemicals “benign”.

BP and Shell were among the companies listed, with BP reporting the highest number of incidents at 23.

Other companies included EnQuest, British Gas and Nexen.

The DECC published the details of all oil and chemical releases since January 1 on its website. Around half of the spills were chemicals and the other half were different types of oil, including crude oil and diesel.

Dr Richard Dixon, the director of WWF Scotland, said: “People will be shocked to learn that there have been so many spills in such a short time.”