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Total works to stop North Sea gas leak

  |   April 9, 2012 at 8:58 AM
EDINBURGH, Scotland, April 9 (UPI) -- The Scottish government said equipment intended to stop a natural gas leak in the North Sea had arrived from Houston.

Engineers from French energy company Total surveyed the Elgin platform in the North Sea to assess what's needed to stop a natural gas leak discovered last month. Equipment meant to plug the well arrived in Scotland from Houston, the BBC reports.

Total, the British broadcaster reports, plans to head back to the Elgin platform this week.

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said, after "a very useful" meeting with Total officials, he was assured the manpower and equipment was in place to address the natural gas leak.

"Stopping the leak is the top priority and Total informed me that in the coming days efforts will begin to try and stop the flow of gas from the platform, by putting heavy mud into the well," Lochhead said. "Simultaneously Total will also commence work on the second option, involving drilling two relief wells to stop the flow of gas."

Visual inspection of the site confirmed that gas was leaking from the platform and not underwater, Total said.

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