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Shell spills over 50,000 gallons of oil off Scotland

Jeremy Hance
August 16, 2011

Yesterday, Royal Dutch Shell estimated that to date 54,600 gallons of oil had spilled into the North Sea off the east coast of Scotland, spreading some 19 miles wide (30 kilometers) at its maximum. While the company stopped the initial leak on Thursday, it has now announced that the oil has found a 'second pathway' and is still leaking into the sea around 84 gallons a day.

Glen Cayley, technical director of Shell's exploration and production activities in Europe, told the BBC that it would not yet discuss the cause of the oil spill, but it will be subject to an independent investigation. He added that the company 'deeply regrets this spill'.

The spill comes from Shell's Gannet Alpha oil platform, which is 113 miles (180 kilometers) off of Aberdeen, Scotland.

The Scotland director for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Stuart Housden, told The Scotsman, that the spill potentially threatens thousands of sea birds and, according to data, was the worst in the region for over ten years.

The company has been criticized for not making the leak public until two days after they noticed the spill.

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