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Eco groups horrified as BP plans for huge worst-case spill off Shetland (Eco news)


Eco groups horrified as BP plans for huge worst-case spill off Shetland
Scotsman reported

ENVIRONMENTAL pressure groups have called on oil giant BP to abandon plans to drill in the hostile waters west of Shetland because of the potential for an unprecedented ecological disaster in the area.

The call came after it was revealed that the oil company has drawn up contingency plans to tackle a massive spill – twice the magnitude of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico – as part of its proposals to begin drilling the North Uist well in a seabed block named after the Hebridean island but located 80 miles north-west of Shetland.

The “doomsday” scenario outlined by BP would lead to oil lapping ashore in both Shetland and Norway, threatening important seabird colonies and whales, dolphins and other marine species in the area.

The contingency plans for a worst-case leak at the North Uist site would involve 75,000 barrels of oil day spilling into the sea for 140 days – a total of 10.5 million barrels of oil, compared with the estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil which spewed into the Gulf of Mexico from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon well.

Dr Richard Dixon, the director of WWF Scotland, said the risks outlined by BP could make a major spill in the waters off Shetland “comfortably the world’s biggest pollution disaster”.

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