Scotland finds no Elgin gas in fish sample

May 2, 2012 at 6:52 AM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, May 2 (UPI) -- Fish samples from near the leaking Elgin platform in the North Sea show no signs of contamination, the Scottish government said.

Total in March discovered a natural gas leak at its Elgin platform about 150 miles off the coast of Aberdeen. Natural gas is leaking from above the water's surface at a rate of around 2.1 million cubic feet per day. No natural gas is leaking into the water.

Scottish authorities last month said fish samples seemed free of hydrocarbon contamination. Edinburgh announced that chemical analysis verified the earlier results.

"All of the chemical and sensory testing work carried out by Marine Scotland on the effects on the marine environment of the leak has now concluded that there is no direct impact," Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said in a statement.

"Chemical testing of fish samples have found no evidence of contamination, which is of course reassuring."

Despite the reassurances, Lochhead said Scottish authorities would continue monitoring in cooperation with Total as efforts continue to stop the leak.

"I remain hopeful that this incident can be resolved as safely and quickly as possible, with the environmental impact minimized," Lochhead said.

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