NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

UK advisory group set up in wake of Mexico spill

Oil off the Louisiana coast, 22 May
Image caption Thousands of barrels of oil have been leaking out daily

A new advisory group has been set up by the UK's oil industry to review its response to oil spills in the wake of the ongoing Gulf of Mexico situation.

The major oil leak began more than a month ago, when a drilling rig operated on behalf of BP exploded.

Oil and Gas UK made the advisory group announcement in advance of the conclusion of investigations into the incident.

Representatives from all sides of the industry - including trade unions and government agencies - will take part.

The Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group will be chaired by Mark McAllister, who said: "It is only right that we take a fresh look at our practices in the UK for oil spill prevention and response.

"The review will be comprehensive and will help ensure that the arrangements in the UK continue to be fit for purpose."

The first meeting is proposed for 2 June.

Oil and Gas UK said earlier this month it was highly unlikely a major oil spill such as the one in the Gulf of Mexico could happen in the North Sea.

It said the North Sea industry was tightly regulated.

However Jake Molloy of the RMT union said safety checks did not prevent the Gulf of Mexico incident.

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