‘No pollution detected’ near grounded Transocean rig

No pollution has been detected as a result of the Transocean Winner drilling rig running aground near a beach in the Isle of Lewis in the UK. 

Offshore Energy Today reported earlier on Thursday that two fuel tanks on the grounded semi-submersible rig had been breached causing concerns that oil from the tanks might have been released into the environment.

According to a statement on Thursday afternoon by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), no pollution was detected in the area of the rig and the MCA continues to monitor for any pollution.

As well as continual observations on the scene, the MCA counter pollution surveillance aircraft yesterday flew over the location and surrounding area to make careful observations for pollution around the rig and the nearby coast and sea and no sheen or sign of pollution has been found, the agency said.

Teams from Smit Salvage and Transocean will continue inspections on board the rig this week and the rig remains in the original position. Salvors identified two of the four diesel fuel tanks on the rig appear to have been breached.

It is estimated that the maximum amount of diesel which could have been lost from those tanks is 53 tons and salvors will determine the quantity of diesel remaining in those tanks during the course of the salvage operation. Diesel is a light and nonpersistent oil which presents much lower environmental risks than heavy black crude oil, said the agency.

Additional salvors and technical experts from Transocean and equipment continue to arrive to the incident area to support the operation.

A temporary exclusion zone of 300 meters to keep boats away remains in force.

The tug Union Bear remains in the vicinity along with the Emergency Towing Vessel Herakles, which is funded by the UK Government to support the operation.

Image by John Gray/Dell-licious-Ness

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