An oil platform operated by Royal Dutch Shell in the North Sea has been partially evacuated after detection of a gas leak. There were a total of 76 crew members on the Gannett Alpha platform operated by Shell in the North Sea. Out of these, 48 members were evacuated, and returned to shore by helicopter.

According to Shell, the problem came to light when one of the crewmembers noticed a shimmering under the platform on Monday afternoon. As a precautionary measure, all nonessential personnel were evacuated from the platform immediately. The company says that the gas leak was a one-off release.

All relevant authorities, including the Coast Guard and the Health and Safety Executive have been informed about the leak and evacuation. Production at the station was stopped as soon as the leak was discovered. The company intends to operate the platform under reduced worker capacity, until investigations into the leak are complete.

The same platform was the scene of a massive spill of oil in August 2011. The spill in the flow line to the Gannett Alpha resulted in more than 200 tons of oil being spilled into the waters of the North Sea. However, the leak that occurred this week is not in any way related to the spill that occurred in August. That leak occurred on an entirely different line.

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