Many of you will have seen in the news that a Total gas rig is suffering a major toxic gas leak that is out of control and may last months. You can read more about this potential disaster here and here.
As well as posing serious risks to the many workers on the platform, who have now been evacuated, the leak has potentially serious but as yet unknown environmental impacts. RSPB Scotland has therefore responded to the gas leak on the Elgin Platform in the North Sea off Aberdeen by calling for complete transparency from Total.
Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland, said: “It is clear that this is a unique situation, and Total has admitted they have no experience of responding to leaks of gas condensates and managing their potential negative impacts, or otherwise, on the wider environment in the North Sea before.
“We should not forget that Shell were heavily criticised last year in relation to their handling of the oil leak on the Gannet Alpha platform in the North Sea, and they subsequently acknowledged that their lack of information in the aftermath was a mistake. Lessons should be learned from this by Total. They need to be open and consultative from the outset. This will help to allay concerns, and enable good decision making that is based on evidence and facts.
He added: “We have been in contact with Total and are monitoring the situation closely to help make sure it is contained with the least impact on the environment as possible. We hope that, second to minimising risks to people, environmental considerations will be foremost in the mind of Total when considering their response to this situation. We urgently need to know exactly what environmental impacts the leaking substances can have.”