40 North Sea oil spills in a year

Over 40 oil spills from North Sea-located Norwegian Continental Shelf platforms have occurred during the past year, Norwegian Coastal Administration figures show.

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nordsjøen.jpg Foto: Hilde Øvrebekk Lewis

Hilde Øvrebekk

Thenumbers are collectedon behalf of the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature. In addition, recent NCA aerial surveillance pictures Dagsavisen have gained access to show how theoil spreads in areas around several platforms, the newspaperreports.

“We’ve managed to document how problematic 100 metre-wide and several kilometre-long streaks ofoil on the sea are for the first time-ever,” says theorganisation’s Per-Erik Schulze.

He saysthe leaks are both alarming completely unacceptable, also pointing out that it is the authorities whogrant oil companies permission to emit certain amountsof oil in a form termed as produced water.

The NCA documentation shows that emissions are within annual allowable amounts.

According to the Climate and PollutionAgency (CPA), the limit for oil spills in theNorth Sea are “as little as possible and shall not exceed 30 milligrams per litre".

Hydrocarbon production’s average emissionsare now at 12milligrams per litre.The CPA’s Hanne Marie Øren’s thinks this is still not good enough.

“We're working on getting this downfurther,” she said, adding that the CPA is considering imposing a lower limiton the Norwegian Continental Shelf as awhole, and setting limits per field.