Locals puzzled after thousands of tar balls wash up on UK beach after massive oil spill

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The incident left locals puzzled as small balls of tar were discovered on the coastline of seaside town Blackpool, Lancashire, sparking a major clean up operation. Residents have been requested not to touch the balls or attempt to remove them from the beach while clean up teams from oil firm ENI UK are sent in.

The UK minister for energy, clean growth and climate change, Greg Hands, said he was “being kept regularly updated” by the pipline’s operator, ENI UK.

He said: “The pipeline was immediately shut off.

“Aerial surveillance has been undertaken and specialist teams have been mobilised along Lancashire’s coast to respond to any oil beaches.

“We’re in touch with local MPs and councils, as well as ENI UK Ltd – the company that owns and operates the pipeline

“The Offshore Petroleum Regulator is working closely with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and relevant local authorities to ensure ENI fulfils its legal obligations.”

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.

A spokesman for the oil firm ENI UK told Mirror Online: “The clean-up teams are onsite and working closely with the local authorities and coastguard.”

The photographs of the popular beach have shown the small black balls strewn across the sand between the town’s North and Central Piers.

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“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.



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