Friends of the Earth Scotland today welcomed reports that chemical testing of water and sediment samples from around the stricken Elgin platform indicate there has been no direct marine contamination from the uncontrolled and massive gas leak as yet, but the organisation’s Chief Executive reiterated his previous comments that the real effects of the gas leak may be cumulative and long-term and will not be known for some time.

Stan Blackley, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“This is welcome news, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that hidden and longer-term environmental damage is not being caused to the waters, seabed and wildlife in the area. Furthermore, it completely ignores the negative impact that the release of massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere is having. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and this leak is undoubtedly contributing to pollution of the atmosphere and climate change.”Total is still struggling to stop the gas escaping from the Elgin Platform, which is in relatively shallow and manageable waters, yet Shell will soon start drilling for oil in much deeper and more hostile Arctic waters and the company is claiming that it has the ability to deal with any potential problem. We seriously doubt that this is actually the case. The gas leak on the Elgin Platform is yet further evidence that we should be sourcing our energy from a wide range of safe, clean and renewable sources, not moving our drilling rigs into more dangerous waters where incidents like this might prove impossible to deal with.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
 t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

1. Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk