Total launches Elgin relief efforts

April 2, 2012 at 9:21 AM
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ABERDEEN, Scotland, April 2 (UPI) -- French energy company Total said Monday it had two courses of action meant to control a natural gas leak from its Elgin platform in the North Sea.

Total last week reported a natural gas leak from its Elgin platform off the coast of Scotland. Sheen associated with the leak covers about 38 square miles.

Total last weekend confirmed a flare on top of the Elgin platform had gone out. The flare risked triggering an explosion of the natural gas surrounding the base of the platform.

The French energy company announced Monday it launched parallel plans meant to stop the leak. One includes pumping heavy mud into the well from a floating support vessel. The second option includes drilling a relief well and a backup relief well.

British Energy Minister Charles Hendry said he welcomed the news that Total had dispatched vessel to the region to respond to the incident.

"The government continues to monitor the situation very closely to ensure this incident can be resolved as quickly and with as little risk to human life and the environment as possible," he said in a statement.

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