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Oil spill on UK coastline

Oilfield Technology,

In the UK, a clean-up operation is taking place along two miles (3.2 km) of the Hampshire coastline after oil leaked from a pipeline near Southampton. It is estimated that some 20 barrels of vacuum gas oil were spilled at Esso's Fawley terminal on the evening of Sunday 20 June, as a ship was unloaded.

As soon as the spill was spotted, Esso launched its local oil spill response procedures - booms were deployed to contain most of the spill within the marine terminal. Booms have also been on standby near the entrance of the River Hamble and at Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve.

Affected beaches from Hill Head to Solent Breezes have been closed. However, Esso has said that health risks are "very, very low".

Southampton-based Oil Spill Response will assess whether oil has sunk into the sand and the Environment Agency said it is investigating the spill. In the meantime, residents have been advised to stay away from the contaminated beaches.

Esso has apologised for the "regrettable incident" and said that the unloading was immediately stopped on Sunday night. The firm met with emergency planners from the borough and county councils, the Environment Agency and Natural England on Monday 21 June to discuss the clean-up operation.

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