Shell says investigating sheen in Gulf of Mexico

LONDON - Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday said it was investigating the cause of a sheen that has appeared close to some of its oil production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.

“At this time, the source of this sheen is unknown, and Shell’s priority is to respond proactively, safely, and in close coordination with regulatory agencies,” the Anglo-Dutch company said in a statement.

Shell added that there was no indication that the sheen originated from wells at either its Mars or Ursa platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

“However, out of prudent caution, Shell has activated the Louisiana Responder, a Marine Spill Response Corporation vessel. The Louisiana Responder is an oil spill response vessel with skimming and boom capabilities.

“Shell has also requested flights to monitor the one by ten-mile sheen closely with additional aerial surveillance,” the statement said.

With the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster that has devastated BP’s finances still fresh in the minds of investors, Shell’s share price slid 4.83 percent to 2,038.50 pence on news of the sheen discovery.

Meanwhile in the North Sea, French energy giant Total was on Thursday continuing with its own efforts to plug a leaking platform.

The abandoned Elgin rig, 150 miles (240 kilometres) off Aberdeen on Scotland’s east coast, has been spewing a cloud of gas since March 25.

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