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British trade body Oil & Gas UK has published its 2012 Environmental Report, presenting key figures for the industry's environmental impact and the ways in which Britain's oil and gas companies are tackling the environmental challenges they are facing.

The report reveals that last year 246 oil spills were reported, with the total amount of oil released in these spills reaching 86 tons. This is the highest amount recorded since 2002, but two-thirds of it could be attributed to one single spill, Oil &Gas UK said. The industry also reported 272 chemical spills in 2012, with 306 tons released. In 2011 the amount of chemicals released in chemical spills was ten tons higher, but last year's reduction is even more dramatic when compared to the 994 tons spilled in 2009.

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Meanwhile, the industry discharged 97,891 tons of chemicals to sea last year. Drilling operations accounted for 68,708 tons, while production operations resulted in 28,816 tons discharged. A further 367 tons of pipeline chemicals were also included in the report.

The amount of carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere last year dropped in comparison to the previous year and has been following a persistent downward trend since 2000. In 2012, the British oil and gas industry released 14.22 million tons of carbon dioxide offshore. Fuel consumption for energy production accounted for 79.3 percent of the emissions, while flaring and venting contributed 20.5 percent, the report stated.