BP's biggest onshore field in Western Europe - Wytch Farm near Wareham - has been closed because oil was leaking into the Dorset countryside, it is reported.

The leak, in an in-field flowline, was discovered in mid-November. Wytch Farm has been offline ever since, with BP checking all its pipelines. It usually produces 18,000 barrels of oil per day.

A Wytch Farm spokesman said the leak was small and no oil left the site.

She added: “Operations at Wytch Farm are due to restart shortly following an extended inspection and maintenance programme over the past two months.”

Production is likely to restart within days.

BP did not release any information when the leak was discovered but has told The Telegraph that the move to shut down the field was due to "extreme caution" because of last year's spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

For the full story see tomorrow's Daily Echo.