BP, Shell and BG Group were responsible for 55 leaks of oil and other chemicals in the North Sea in the past few months, according to Greenpeace. This is despite claims of improved safety measures.
The environmental group’s senior climate adviser Charlie Kronick told the Guardian, “They’re trying to convince the world that they can operate safely in one of the world’s harshest environments, yet they can’t prevent this steady trickle of oil and other polluting chemicals leaking into the relatively safe waters of the North Sea.
“This will do little to increase public trust in their ability to drill in the Arctic without damaging this incredibly beautiful and fragile corner of our planet.”
Greenpeace claimed that 55 leaks occurred in the North Sea over the past month alone. However, the industry replied that the quantity of harmful chemicals was meaningless and that this proves the effectiveness of safety protocols.
Nevertheless, preliminary figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) suggest around 40 tonnes of oil were discharged in 2012, and 402,075kg of chemicals were released from UK sites. This is a slight improvement on 2011 and a vast improvement on 2010.
Greenpeace has been campaigning recently against drilling in the Arctic region, especially because of the partnership between oil giants and Russian companies with poor safety and environmental records.
It also took a stance against three energy companies – E.ON, Centrica and RWE – that recently won exploration licences in the Barents Sea, an area considered vulnerable for both its ecosystem and the presence of large fish stocks.