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Total sees Elgin restart soon

Feb. 15, 2013 at 6:53 AM

LONDON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- French supermajor Total expects to restart operations at the Elgin natural gas field in the North Sea as a soon as possible, the company's top executive said.

Total said natural gas was leaking from its Elgin complex off the coast of Scotland last March. A dynamic kill operation stopped the leak by May.

Gas was leaking at a rate 7 million cubic feet per day but had slowed to around 2.1 million cubic feet per day. Well intervention involved the pumping of heavy mud into the leaking well.

Total Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie was quoted as saying from London that getting production going again would help rebuild the region's energy sector.

"What's important is to restart Elgin-Franklin now as soon as we can ... not only because we need the production, not only because the U.K. needs the production, but to say that it's been managed in a proper way," he was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying.

Elgin accounted for about 9 percent of the Scotland's oil and natural gas production before last year's incident.

Total can't proceed without formal government consent. The company said the field won't reach full production of 140,000 barrels of oil equivalent until 2015.

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