Balls of tar wash up on UK beach one day after 500 barrels of oil leak into Irish Sea

The pipe, which runs between two platforms named Conwy and Douglas, was shut off following the leak on Monday

<p>Thousands of balls of tar have washed up on Blackpool beach in Lancashire, sparking a major clean-up operation </p>

Thousands of balls of tar have washed up on Blackpool beach in Lancashire, sparking a major clean-up operation

Thousands of balls of tar have washed up on a British beach days after around 80,000 litres of oil leaked from a pipe into the Irish Sea.

Roughly 500 barrels of crude oil were released from a burst pipe off the coast of North Wales that supplies fuel to the Isle of Man.

Now thousands of tar balls have washed up on Blackpool beach in Lancashire, sparking a major clean-up operation.

Tar balls are dark-coloured, coin-sized pieces made up of a mixture of hydrocarbons. They are formed when crude oil deposits are weathered after floating in the ocean.

Pictures from the famed seaside resort show the tiny black balls strewn across its iconic beach.

The pipe, which runs between two platforms named Conwy and Douglas, was shut off following the leak on Monday and remains closed.

Oil firm ENI UK said “a number of small tar balls” had washed up on “a section of the Blackpool coast”.

A spokesman for the firm said: “The clean-up teams are onsite and working closely with the local authorities and coastguard.”

The tar-balls washed up on Central Beach between the town’s North and Central Piers.

The local council said Storm Dudley is likely to see more balls wash up on the shore and has urged people not to touch or try to remove any of the balls.

A spokesman for Blackpool Council said: “Due to tidal conditions and a forecast of extreme weather conditions over the next few days, there is a possibility of more washing up.

“Our beaches will mostly be chained off due to high tides and storm force winds during this time, and we ask that people avoid these stretches to avoid any contact.”

Eni UK processes crude oil to produce fuels, lubricants and chemical products and is involved with offshore drilling in the UK.

SWNS

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