Greenpeace has been accused of causing pollution near BP’s Foinaven field, west of Shetland.
BP’s senior manager on the site sent an oil spill report to the coastguard and other authorities on 13 July about a 200m by 50m oil ‘sheen’ seen 1,500m north of the company’s Petrojarl Foinaven floating production vessel.
The report said the slick appeared to have been caused by bilge oil and was coming from the direction of the MV Greenpeace, the environmental group’s ship.
Greenpeace denied that it was responsible for the slick. A spokesman said the organisation has a policy of never discharging bilge water from its vessels at sea.
It has been campaigning against the exploitation of oil and gas fields in the waters west of the Shetlands because it claims the activity will damage the marine environment.