BP disaster puts spotlight on safety of drilling in North Sea

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has focused attention on safety and environmental risk in the North Sea as oil companies seek fresh reserves in ever deeper waters

Clean-up of the Gulf of Mexico oil spillNorth Sea oil and gas wells are experiencing as many as two dozen potential ‘blowouts’ every year, according to data from Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon platform in the Gulf of Mexico on 20 April killed 11 crew. Some 35,000-60,000 barrels of oil per day are leaking into the sea causing an environmental disaster. Only some of the oil is being captured after attempts to seal the well failed.

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