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Onshore oil field spill leaks into UK harbour

27 March 2023

An oil leak occurred from an onshore well site operated by Perenco in Dorset, southern England on March 26. Anglo-French oil company Perenco said that the spill occurred at one of its well sites in Wytch Farm and led to around 200 barrels of reservoir fluid leaking into Poole Harbour.

Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock

A major incident was declared after the leak into the water at Poole Harbour, however reports say that the situation only required a regional rather than a national response. Perenco UK said in a statement that an investigation would be launched immediately after confirming that the spill had been contained.

Jim Stewart, the Chief Executive of the Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC), an independent statutory body that regulates activities in the harbour, said that the organisation had been told by Perenco that the fluid which leaked into the water was 80% saline solution and 20% crude.

In a statement, Stewart said the fluid had escaped from a pipeline which was immediately shutdown and surrounded by booms in order to minimise any pollution. As of 20:00 local time, Stewart said that early indications were that the surface slick was already dispersing. The PHC also warned locals to avoid using local beaches and going in the water as a precaution.

Perenco UK produces around 14,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day at its Wytch Farm facility.

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