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All Clear for Fish Samples Following Gas Leak

02 May 2012, at 1:00am

SCOTLAND, UK - Chemical analysis of fish samples collected from close to TOTALs Elgin platform gas leak in the North Sea has concluded there is no hydrocarbon contamination.

The development confirms the sensory taste testing of fish samples last month, which found no taint for the presence of oil and gas. Water and sediment analysis has already been completed, with results showing no direct impact from the Elgin incident.

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: All of the chemical and sensory testing work carried out by Marine Scotland on the effects on the marine environment of the leak has now concluded that there is no direct impact. Chemical testing of fish samples have found no evidence of contamination, which is of course reassuring.

Its also encouraging that TOTAL has confirmed that the gas leak has significantly slowed. I remain hopeful that this incident can be resolved as safely and quickly as possible, with the environmental impact minimised.

However, we remain vigilant and will continue to carry out monitoring work. As such new sampling work from within the two-mile exclusion zone and at the sites previously sampled will be undertaken by Marine Scotland in co-operation with TOTAL at the earliest opportunity.

Full chemical analysis of fish samples collected by the Marine Research Vessel Alba na Mara on 7 April from outside the exclusion zone has now concluded that there is no petrogenic contamination to be found. Chemical testing of the fish involved analysing for the presence of aliphatic hydrocarbons (n-alkanes) and polyaromic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Analysis of water and sediment samples concluded last month that there was no evidence of hydrocarbon contamination from the gas leak. Sensory testing of fish samples, using the UKs only specially trained human panel, concluded the samples were untainted.

The Marine Scotland Science laboratory, based in Aberdeen, includes world-leading expertise, knowledge and facilities for analysing the impact of the gas leak. The same marine scientists who undertook analysis work relating to the Shell Gannet incident last year are involved in the environmental testing work for the Elgin platform.

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