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Energy giant BP fined £400,000 for oil spill at Sullom Voe

The firm pleaded guilty to health and safety failings at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

Sullom Voe: BP was fined for an oil spill at the terminal.
Sullom Voe: BP was fined for an oil spill at the terminal. © STV

BP has been fined £400,000 after accidentally releasing more than three tonnes of crude oil at the Sullom Voe terminal in Shetland.

The energy giant pleaded guilty to health and safety failings at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

The incident, which occurred during maintenance in December 2012, led to flammable crude oil being released from a hose onto the ground.

The spillage went unnoticed for over 30 minutes.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that between November 12 and December 13, 2012, BP had "failed to take all measures necessary to prevent major accidents and to limit their consequences to persons and the environment".

BP also failed to identify and assess the hazards and risks arising from the under-taking of a non-routine job, namely the task of draining water from a drain valve on a surge relief line.

Speaking after the hearing on Wednesday, HSE principal inspector Greg Haywood said: "This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

"Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards."

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