Action imminent to stem Elgin gas leak in North Sea

Offshore staff

PARIS – Total says its preparations for a well intervention on the leaking Elgin G4 gas well in the central North Sea are nearing completion.

These have included positioning of the West Phoenix drilling rig 30 m (98 ft) from the Elgin complex to support the operation. Assuming favorable weather, the intervention should start within a few days.

Activities on board the rig earlier this week included major welding of key components; deployment of communication transponders; and final testing of essential equipment, such as dynamic positioning and mist water systems.

Observations made during 11 flights over the area by Oil Spill Response suggest the gas leakage rate continues to decline. Total estimates current outflow at around 0.5 kg/sec of gas, down from initial estimates of 2.0 kg/sec early on during the Elgin incident.

Total has sent specialists on seven helicopter flights to Elgin this week. The visits have focused on final preparatory work on the wellhead platform and the Elgin process utilities quarters platform.

Drilling of the first back-up relief well by the Sedco 714 continues to progress as planned.

5/11/2012

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