Total confirms termination of North Sea gas leak

Offshore staff

PARIS – Total (NYSE:TOT PARIS:FP FP) says its operation to halt the gas leak from the Elgin field G4 well in the UK North Sea is a success.

This follows five days of monitoring operations after the intervention on May 15 at the Elgin complex, 240 km (149 mi) offshore Aberdeen.

To regain control of the well, heavy mud was pumped from the semisubmersible West Phoenix. After 12 hours of pumping, the leak ceased. Subsequent inspection visits to the wellhead platform have confirmed that the leak has completely stopped.

The next priority will be to re-man the Elgin complex and restart the Rowan Viking drilling rig in order to set cement plugs in the G4 well ahead of P&A’ing the G4 well, a procedure set to take several weeks to complete.

Once the first cement plug is set in the well, drilling of the parallel relief well by the Sedco 714 will be stopped. The UK authorities have agreed that a second relief well, which would have been drilled by the Rowan Gorilla V, is no longer necessary.

Yves-Louis Darricarrère, President Exploration & Production at Total, said: “It is important that we continue to work together with the authorities to conclude the ongoing investigations, take into account lessons learned, and define the necessary conditions for restarting production of the Elgin-Franklin.”

5/21/2012

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