An oil terminal owned by Esso Exploration and Production UK and Shell UK and operated by BP has faced a second embarrassment in the space of a month.
On 10 November between two and five litres of gas condensate from a Russian vessel entered the harbour. Now Sullom Voe oil terminal in Shetland, UK, experienced another oil spill when around five litres of gas condensate was spilt when one tanker was offloading cargo to another on Thursday 26 November.
An investigation has now been launched by red-faced bosses, especially after the port authority had been assured that the 10 November incident was a one off.
A Sullom Voe pilot boat and a pollution response vessel from terminal operators BP were both sent to look into the spill, which has been reported to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and environmental watchdog SEPA.
We are not very happy about this at all because we were assured by the company involved that procedures had been put in place to make sure that this didnt happen again. We are taking quite a hard line on this, Harbourmaster Roger Moore comments.
Gas oil is so light that it evaporates almost instantly. The oil majors involved surely hope this situation will vanish just as quickly.