Huge ‘mishap’ reported at UK oilfield

Around 200 barrels of reservoir fluid flowed into the Dorset harbour, a location of special scientific significance.

The harbour’s governing body, Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC), reported that a leak happened on Sunday at a Perenco-operated pipeline under Ower Bay.

Over 200 barrels of “reservoir fluid”—the largest onshore pitch in the UK—were spilled as a result of the mishap at the Wytch Farm oilfield.

A “small” amount of the fluid, which is composed primarily of water and contains only a small bit of oil, was stated to have leaked from Perenco’s pipeline, and as of late Sunday night, part of it had already been retrieved.

Early signs suggest that the surface slick is already dissipating, according to PHC.

The commissioners said that Perenco had stated there was no chance of additional leakage following the shutdown of the pipeline and the placement of booms on either side of the leak to reduce contamination.

According to Perenco, “Perenco UK’s incident management team was activated immediately, the leak was stopped and booms deployed as an additional containment to protect Poole harbour. Perenco UK is working closely with the relevant authorities and a clean-up operation is under way.

“Any spill is an extremely serious matter and a full investigation will be launched to ascertain what happened in Poole harbour,” said Francois Dy, general manager of Perenco UK’s Wytch Farm.

“Wash promptly with soap and water,” was the instruction given to anyone who came into contact with the spill.

The region, which has been named a site of particular scientific significance, is a haven for wildlife.

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