Spill closes North Sea oil field

The oil giant Texaco said it had temporarily shut down its Captain field in the North Sea after about seven tonnes of oil were spilled into the sea. A spokesman said the shutdown was ordered early yesterday morning after an incident on the floating production, storage and offloading vessel which serves the wellhead platform.

He said the spill had been treated with dispersant and a spotter aircraft will return to the field at first light today.

The Captain field, 90 miles north-east of Aberdeen, has recently been producing around 30,000 barrels of oil a day, just under half the 63,000 barrels expected eventually.

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