Friday 12 August 2016

Grounded oil rig loses around 56 000 litres of diesel on the Scottish coast.

Around 56 000 litres of diesel oil has been lost from an oil rig stranded on the north coast of the Scottish island of Lewis and Harris, in the Outer Hebrides. The Transocean Winner, a decommissioned rig being towed from Norway to Malta, and thence to Turkey where it was due be broken up, came adrift in high winds on Monday 8 August 2016, and became stranded on rocks off Dalmore (or Dail Mòr) on Lewis.

The stranded Transocean Winner on the coast of Lewis. PA.

Authorities in Scotland have had difficulty inspecting the rig due to high winds and low cloud, which prevents helicopters airlifting personel onto the rig, but it has been confirmed that the rig's fuel tanks have been ruptured. Deisel is not considered a major environmental hazard, as it tends to evaporate rather than persisting in the environment like heavier oils, but the loss of such a large amount in a single incident is still a cause for concern. No oil has been sighted on the water near the rig, and field chemistry staff from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency are monitoring air in the vicinity of the rig.

The rigs ballast tanks also appear to have been damaged, making it likely that considerable work will have to be undertaken before the structure can be refloated and moved safely.

See also... dead after helicopter crashes during flight from Norwegian oilfield.                   Thirteen people have died after a helicopter crashed to the west of Bergen, Norway, on Friday 29 April 2016, during a return flight... Sea oil rig partially evacuated following leak.                                                                 The Cormorant Alpha oil rig, 161 km northeast of Lerwick, Shetland, was partially evacuated on Saturday 2 March 2012, following the discovery of a leak of hydrocarbons (oil) from one of its legs. 71...
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