BP can confirm that yesterday [Sunday 2 October 2016] at approximately 10am a quantity of oil in water was released to the sea from the Clair platform as a result of a technical issue with the system designed to separate the mixed production fluids of water, oil and gas.
The release was stopped within an hour once the issue had been identified and Clair production was taken offline. We are investigating the cause of the technical issue and the field will remain offline for the time being.
Oil spill and environmental experts from BP, Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have been working together to assess any potential environmental impacts and to agree the best way to respond.
At present, we believe the most appropriate response is to allow the oil to disperse naturally at sea, but contingencies for other action are being prepared.
Oil has been observed on the sea surface and we are monitoring its movement. Both direct observation and oil spill modelling indicate the oil to be moving in a northerly direction away from land.
The total oil in water volume that was released has yet to be accurately assessed and work to determine this is ongoing.
The Clair platform is located 75 kilometres west of the Shetland Islands.