Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has said it is working to stop a leak at one of its North Sea oil platforms. The leak was found near the Gannet Alpha platform, 180 km (113 miles) from Aberdeen, Scotland.
A Shell spokesman said it was "managing" the leak. "We deployed a remote-operated vehicle to check for a sub-sea leak after a light sheen was noticed in the area. "We have stemmed the leak significantly and we are taking further measures to isolate it. "The sub-sea well has been shut in, and the flow line is being de-pressurised," he added.
The company would not say how much oil may have been spilt so far, though it said it had "stemmed the leak significantly". One of the wells at the Gannet oilfield has been closed, but the company would not say if production was reduced.
The company says it has sent a clean-up vessel to the location and has a plane monitoring the surface. The leak was found in a flow line connecting an oil well to the platform.
Shell confirmed the leak was continuing but said it was being reduced and was "not a significant spill".
The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change said it was in contact with Shell and investigating the incident in the usual way. The department's spokesman added that it understood from Shell that there was a "finite amount of oil that can be dispersed" but stressed that regulators were taking the leak seriously.
The Health and Safety executive confirmed it was monitoring the situation.
A Scottish government spokesman also said it was monitoring the situation and would update ministers, adding that Marine Scotland, which manages Scotland's waters, was in close contact with key organisations including Shell.
It is unknown how much oil may already have been spilt.