Booms deployed, cleanup operation at beaches


A cleanup operation is underway today after an oil spill at the Fawley oil refinery in Southampton Water.


Around 20 barrels of heavy vacuum gas oil leaked from a

shore-side pipeline at Esso’s Marine Terminal at around 9.20pm on Sunday night. 


The Environment Agency has been called in and special

booms and absorbent pads have been deployed in a bid to contain the

spill. Traces of the refined product – in the form

of a sheen of oil – have already been discovered on the shore between

Warsash and Solent Breezes.


An Esso spokesman said in a statement: “The incident happened whilst a ship was being

unloaded. The offloading was immediately stopped and the pipeline valve

closed.


“We are collecting any residual oil from the leak site until the pipe

can be drained completely. Booms were deployed to contain the spill within the vicinity of the

Marine Terminal and all efforts are being made to recover and disperse

the oil as soon as possible.


“Checks were immediately conducted around the shoreline of Southampton

Water and into the Solent and further checks will be taking place

throughout the day.


“We regret to report that some oil was found on the shore at Warsash

and we have informed Fareham

Borough Council of the situation.

Arrangements are currently underway to initiate a clean up. We continue to work with the Harbour Master and are diligently

checking surrounding areas.”

A boom is on standby near the entrance of the River Hamble and another

boom is already in place at Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve,

with pumps on standby. 

Any members of the community with concerns should telephone Fawley

Refinery Community Affairs on 023 8089 2511.