Oil Spill at Shell Platform in North Sea

Shell has reported an oil spill at one of their platforms in the North Sea.  They haven’t disclosed the size of the spill; we’re looking for satellite imagery to see if we can learn more.

Map showing location of Shell’s Gannet Alpha platform, installed in 1993.

The Gannet Alpha platform, co-owned by Shell and Exxon, is located about 110 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland, in water 95 meters deep.  We’re waiting for more details; from the news accounts of a leak in a “flow line” we surmise that one of the gathering lines in this field has failed.  Like Shell’s massive Perdido project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, multiple wells on the seafloor scattered throughout the area are tied back via gathering pipelines to the Gannett platform for processing.  Click here to see details about the Gannet field, pics of the structures, and a schematic diagram of the infrastructure.

Oil Spill off Mumbai, India

Oil is leaking from a cargo vessel that sank on August 5 about 25 miles off the coast of India near the port of Mumbai.  This radar satellite image taken yesterday (August 8) shows a narrow slick about 12 miles long in the general vicinity of the sinking, based on the news accounts we’ve seen so far.  The buildings of Mumbai appear as a dense cluster of bright spots, typical for radar images of built-up areas.  Other bright spots offshore are vessels and possibly oil and gas production platforms.

Radar satellite image showing oil slick off Mumbai, India on August 8, 2011. Envisat ASAR image courtesy European Space Agency.

Shell Reports Drilling Mud Spill in Gulf of Mexico

Shell International reported an accidental spill of nearly 5,000 gallons of drilling mud into the Gulf of Mexico on July 31.  This is way out there in a cluster of deepwater fields known as the Perdido project, in water more than 7,800′ deep about 150 miles off the Texas coast (195 workers were evacuated from the project last week when tropical storm Don rumbled through):

Map showing location of drilling mud spill reported by Shell on July 31, 2011

Perdido is an awesome development project. Production from several separate fields in the region will be tied into a single, massive floating spar. Be sure to check out the jaw-dropping promotional video.

Schematic diagram of Perdido spar and subsea tie-ins with wells in surrounding fields.

And yes, “perdido” is indeed Spanish for “lost.”  AtlantisMacondo? Maybe it’s not wise to tempt fate…

Keep up with all the latest pollution incidents at the SkyTruth Alerts page.