'Arctic oil spill could take six months to cap,' says cross-party committee

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The Independent Online

Oil companies are failing to safeguard the Arctic against a "catastrophic" spill and should halt drilling operations, a cross-party committee of MPs has said.

Arctic operations lacked the equipment and infrastructure to clear up an oil spill in the polar environment, according to the Environmental Audit Committee. It called on the Prime Minister to bring British companies into line over safety regulations.

Recent months have witnessed increased exploration for oil and gas in the Arctic. Labour MP Joan Walley, chairman of the committee, said: "If a blow-out occurred just before the dark Arctic winter returned, it may not be possible to cap it until the following summer – potentially leaving oil spewing out under the ice for six months or more with devastating consequences for wildlife."