An in depth account of the Shell’s North Sea oil spill – the largest in a decade – and why it matters, by BBC Business News, with mention of Platform, Greenpeace & others.

Shell spill: What happened and why it matters to Shell

By Damian KahyaBusiness reporter, BBC News

Environmental groups are furious that the largest North Sea spill in a decade was not revealed to the public for three days. Why did it happen and will Shell’s recent environmental problems affect the company’s ambitious plans?

On 10 August, a routine helicopter flight over the North Sea spotted a “sheen” on the sea’s surface near Royal Dutch Shell’s Gannet Alpha platform.

The oily sheen covered just 0.5 sq km to begin with, according to figures provided to the BBC by Shell.

But it was an indication that below the surface, something was leaking.

Shell immediately informed regulatory bodies, including the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the government’s Joint Nature Conservation Commitee.

The DECC says, however, that it remained up to Shell to decide when and how to make the information public.

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