Shell: 'No Gulf well control issues'

Shell has said there are no signs of any leaks at its assets near the site of a six-barrel sheen which was spotted on Wednesday.

The Anglo-Dutch supermajor revealed there are "no well control issues associated with [its] drilling operations" in the area around where a sheen was spotted some 130 miles south-east of New Orleans.

The update could have positive ramifications for Shell's share price which has been hurting on Thursday amid investor fears over an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The news also comes after the US Coast Guard (USCG) told Upstream that a helicopter was to make a flyover of the sheen near Shell's Mars and Ursa production areas.

"Following reports of an oil sheen in the vicinity of the Mars and Ursa production area in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, a thorough inspection to date of Shell assets reveals operations in the area are normal with no sign of leaks," an update from Shell read on Thursday.

"We have also confirmed there are no well control issues associated with our drilling operations in the area."

Shell also said the sheen is estimated to be about six barrels.

The oil giant had already deployed the oil spill response vessel Louisiana Responder in the wake reports of the sheen. It has now also deployed two ROVs to inspect both Shell and non-Shell infrastructure to look "for potential naturally-occuring seeps in the area".

A USCG helicopter was due to leave New Orleans on Thursday morning local time with a team of two pilots, a flight mechanic and a pollution investigator.

A spokesperson at the USCG’s New Orleans station told Upstream: “We are going to be sending up a helicopter overflight today and they are going to have a Coast Guard pollution investigator on board to do an overflight of the sheen and determine its size, its composition and hopefully figure out where it is coming from."

Shell's share price had taken a beating for much of Thursday on news of the sheen, but recovered immediately after the company revealed its latest update pointing towards no leaks or well control issues.

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