Oil major Royal Dutch Shell was handed a 22,500 pound ($33,919) fine by a local Scottish court on Tuesday for a 2011 oil spill in the North Sea that was the largest in more than a decade.
A subsea pipeline leak from Shell’s Gannet Alpha field spilled more than 200 tonnes of oil into the central North Sea in August 2011. Aberdeen Sheriff Court imposed the fine after Shell pleaded guilty in the case.
The oil major has accepted the charge and said it had since carried out a review of its North Sea pipeline system and had applied lessons learned across its British operations.
“We deeply regret the Gannet spill and accept the fine which has been handed down to us. We know that no spill is acceptable,” said Shell’s Upstream Director for the UK and Ireland, Paul Goodfellow, in a statement.
Environmental campaigners said the fine was too small considering Shell’s failings to protect the marine environment.
“Despite being responsible for the worst North Sea spill in a decade, the level of the fine is literally a drop in the ocean when compared to the billions earned by Shell annually,” said Lang Banks, director at WWF Scotland.
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by David Holmes)