SOSREP Statement: 4 November 2011
Further to the update issued on 30 September 2011, this is a statement by Mr Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP) for Maritime Salvage and Intervention, who was appointed by the UK Government to oversee the operation:
“I am pleased to announce that the latest phase to remove gas trapped in the Gannet pipeline has been successful. Shell’s surveys show that almost all the gas has been removed, significantly increasing the stability of the 4km pipeline.
“The final stage of this operation is now to remove the trapped oil and over the next few months Shell will submit their proposed plans to me for approval.
“There will be full dialogue with Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Scottish Operational Environment Group, the Scottish Government, the Marine and Coastguard Agency and the Health and the Safety Executive before any plans are agreed.
“Given the technical nature of this operation, we do not expect the final phase to begin before next spring.
“Shell has advised they plan to restart operations at the Gannet A platform soon, following its planned shutdown in August for maintenance. The start-up will have no impact on the Gannet F pipeline, which has been physically isolated.
“No pollution was sighted during the gas venting operation and the joint DECC and HSE investigation into the cause of the incident continues.”