• STV
  • MySTV

Oil disaster should be a 'wake-up call' for North Sea

Similar disaster to that in the Gulf of Mexico not ruled out as both companies involved in catastrophe operate in the North Sea.

Safety: Oil disaster in US should serve as warning for North Sea operators.
© STV

The North Sea oil industry is closely monitoring efforts to stem the major pollution disaster in the gulf of Mexico.

BP engineers grappling with the massive leak are attempting to use underwater robots to prevent the flow of oil after the explosion on a drilling rig.

Now companies in the North sea are looking to see if lessons can be learned here.

As each day passes the impact of the explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico worsens. Attention is now focused on the environmental fall out as the well head continues to release millions of gallons of oil into the sea.

Oil giant BP is heading the clean-up and containment operation, but the rig was owned by Transocean. Both companies operate in the North Sea.

It's 22 years since the Piper Alpha tragedy which killed 167, earning itself a grim place in the history books as the worlds worst offshore disaster. Experts say the health and safety lessons have been learnt.

Robert Paterson from Oil & Gas UK said: "The regime that we have over here was set up in the years after Piper Alpha and they were rigorously looked at to ensure the highest standards of safety operating in the North Sea."  

But critics warn similar rig equipment is in use in the North Sea and without more information as to what caused the US disaster, the possibility of it happening here can't be ruled out.

Jake Molloy, from the RMT Union said: "If as we suspect there has been equipment failure, then who's to say it couldn't happen here. You can have the most stringent regulatory regime in the world but if the equipment fails, it fails."

The potential harm such a spill could have in the North Sea is enormous. Most at risk is the vast marine and bird populations that inhabit the coastlines of the North East.

Hundreds of birds died as a result of the Braer oil spill when a tanker ran aground off the Shetland coast in January 1993.  The spill caused little lasting damage to the environment, but environmentalists say that's no excuse for complacency.

Sarah Dolman from the Whale & Dolphin Society said: "Whilst there are contingency plans in place to prevent oil spills, we don't feel they go far enough. This is a wake-up call and it's time to review those plans now."

As the oil slick continues to threaten the US coastline - the pressure is on to find out what caused the leak and ensure it never happens again.

 

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.