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Shell charged over biggest North Sea oil leak in more than a decade

The equivalent of more than 1300 barrels of oil spilled into the sea from the Gannet Alpha in 2011.

Gannet Alpha: Major oil leak in North Sea.
Gannet Alpha: Major oil leak in North Sea.

Energy giant Shell has been charged over a major oil leak from a North Sea platform four years ago. 

The equivalent of more than 1300 barrels of oil spilled into the sea from the Gannet Alpha in August 2011, the largest leak in more than a decade. 

The UK Government carried out an investigation into the incident and Shell now faces charges over the spill, as well as pipeline maintenance and health and safety. 

Shell was able to bring the leak 112 miles east of Aberdeen under control but then faced a smaller leak which was spilling around 80 gallons of oil a day. 

At the time, Shell reported that there was no evidence wildlife had been affected by the subsea leak, which was first spotted by a helicopter flying overhead. 

Shell representatives are expected to appear at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Tuesday. 

The company have been charged under Offshore Petrolium Activities Regulations 2005 and the Pollution Prevention Control Act 2009.

It will also face charges under the Pipeline Safety Regulations 1996 and Safety at Work act 1974.

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