Leak at Shell refinery 350,000 liters of oil from Godorf plant contaminate the soil

Cologne/Wesseling · It was already at the beginning of April that so-called light gas oil from the Godorf Shell refinery leaked into the ground. Only now it became known how extensive the damage really is.

 The entrance to the Shell refinery in Cologne-Godorf.

The entrance to the Shell refinery in Cologne-Godorf.

Foto: dpa/Oliver Berg

In recent months, more than 350,000 litres of oil have leaked from a 60-year-old pipeline at the Shell refinery in Cologne-Godorf and seeped into the ground. According to the company, the leaked product is so-called light gas oil. This is an intermediate product generated during the processing of crude oil and used for the production of diesel or light heating oil.

Shell announced on Wednesday that the leak had already been detected at the beginning of April, but it was only on Wednesday that the company was able to say how much oil had flowed out of the hole, which the company said was one millimetre in diameter. Shell blames "improper road construction work" for the damage to the pipeline, which was last inspected by TÜV in 2016 and approved for five years.

The Cologne district government ordered that Shell must build more so-called remediation wells to separate the oil product from the groundwater.

As early as 2012, an incident at the Shell Rheinland refinery in Wesseling had caused major environmental damage. At that time, a leak about five millimetres in diameter in a kerosene pipeline running underground caused one million litres of the fuel to enter the ground.

Original text: Mario Quadt

Translation: Mareike Graepel

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