Workers return to Elgin platform

June 13, 2012 at 7:08 AM

ABERDEEN, Scotland, June 13 (UPI) -- French energy company Total said most staff members have returned to an oil rig that leaked natural gas into the North Sea off Scotland.

Total announced natural gas was leaking from its Elgin complex off the coast of Aberdeen in late March. By May 21, after five days of monitoring, it was able to confirm that a dynamic kill operation had stopped the leak.

A spokesman for Total said more than 120 workers were back on the Elgin platform, The Press and Journal newspaper in Scotland reports. The rig can accommodate around 135 staff members.

Workers had been prohibited from staying overnight on the platform because of safety concerns, though operational systems were restarted last week.

None of the natural gas from the Elgin platform had reached shore and there were few reports of major environmental damage.

Total said in late May that steps needed set cement plugs to seal the well could take several weeks and the Scottish report notes that work is ongoing.

The incident was first reported March 25. Gas was leaking at a rate 7 million cubic feet per day but slowed to around 2.1 million cubic feet per day before it was stopped in May.

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