DECC updated on Elgin platform incident

Source: Department of Energy & Climate Change

The UK Government today welcomed the release of more environmental data by TOTAL relating to the ongoing gas release at the Elgin wellhead platform.

TOTAL has made available on their website the summaries of the aircraft surveillance flights that have been carried out since the beginning of the Elgin gas leak incident and the analysis of seawater samples collected from the sea surface near the installation in areas affected by the release. The aerial surveillance flights indicate that the sheen is dispersing naturally, and the analyses confirm that the sheen consists of a lightly weathered condensate that is expected to have a minimal environmental impact as it will evaporate and be dispersed in the water column within a fairly short period of time.

A DECC spokesman said: “As with any incident, it is vital that this incident is dealt with in an open and transparent way and the Government welcomes TOTAL’s decision to make this environmental information available on their website.”

Environment group established

The Government Interest Group has set up an Environment Group to review and share information between government and industry environmental advisors, to supplement the good flow of information that has been provided by TOTAL since the beginning of the incident. The intention is to ensure that environmental issues and monitoring continues to be an integral part of this operation.

Following the group’s first meeting yesterday to consider the latest information, it was concluded that the risk to the marine environment remains minimal.

The Environment Group brings together representatives from the Department of Energy Climate Change (DECC), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Marine Scotland (MS), the Joint Nature Conservancy Committee (JNCC), Health Protection Scotland (HPS), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Food Standards Agency Scotland (FSAS), Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA), SEPA and in this case the relevant operator TOTAL.

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