The World Daily
Nearly 500 barrels-worth of oil spilled in Wales after pipeline leak

Irish Sea in Wales, UK. Photo by Beth Jnr on Unsplash.


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | FEBRUARY 16th 2022 


After a pipeline failure, authorities have begun to monitor the waters of the coast in Northern Wales for an oil slick. It’s been estimated that almost 500 barrels worth of oil had leaked into the sea, presenting a potential marine disaster.

The pipeline connects two installations called Conwy and Douglas, and runs across the Irish Sea. The spill itself occurred about 33km away from the North Wales coast. Following the leak yesterday, it was quickly shut off and still remains closed until a better understanding of the situation can be gathered.

The news of the leak comes on the 26th anniversary of the most disastrous oil spill that Wales had ever seen. The spill this time around has been confirmed to be around 500 barrels worth of oil – which is equivalent to just under 80,000 litres, according to the Eni oil industry company, who own the pipeline.

In a statement, the company said that “Eni UK Ltd can confirm that a release of hydrocarbons from its pipeline between the Conwy and Douglas installations, approximately 33km from the north Wales coast, was reported on Monday 14 February.”

It added that: “All relevant authorities were promptly informed. There was no impact at any personnel on the installations. A further statement will be made as soon as more information becomes available.”

According to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, they had already mobilised their counter pollution and salvage team, and that they will be closely monitoring the area around the spill for any oil slicks, alongside the Department for Business, Energy and Institutional Strategy. Eni is also responding to the disaster with heavy monitoring.


Many details around the incident were still being confirmed, but Eni said that the “Conwy to Douglas line was shut immediately and remains off.”

26 years ago, Wales had suffered a significantly more disastrous spill, in which 72,000 tonnes of crude oil had spilled from the oil tanker ‘Sea Empress’, off the Pembrokeshire coast. It was an unbridled maritime disaster, with clean-up efforts taking over a year to finish, and plenty of species of seaweed and invertebrates dying off as a direct result.

“This week marks the anniversary of the Sea Empress oil spill,” said the chief scientist for Greenpeace UK, Doug Parr. “A quarter of a century on, we still find that oil is a dirty business at every stage, whether that’s through planet-warming emissions or leakages like this that harm marine life. The ongoing environmental damage oil causes should be a major incentive to drive forward the cleaner, cheaper energy technologies that now exist.”

“An oil spill will tend to spread out over the surface of the ocean and it’ll spread naturally though the mixing of the ocean waters,” said senior lecturer in physical oceanography at Bangor University, Dr Peter Robins. “Where it’s spilt in the middle of Liverpool Bay, there tends to be stronger flood tides so it might tend to drift eastwards, maybe towards the English coast there.”

He added: “At the moment we’re experiencing quite strong south-westerly winds and they’re going to also tend to push the oil eastwards towards the English coast, I think.” 


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2022 

Source: The Guardian, Offshore Technology, Nation Cymru