Total making progress at Elgin gas leak

April 27, 2012 at 7:31 AM
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ABERDEEN, Scotland, April 27 (UPI) -- Significant steps have been taken to stop the natural gas leak at the Elgin platform off the coast of Scotland, French energy company Total 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.

Total announced that it installed a "diverter" that will redirect leaking natural gas away from a wellhead to ensure safety during the well intervention operation.

The British government announced it gave consent to Total to drill a relief well to control the leak.

Engineers made only two trips to the platform this week because of inclement weather. They were able to set equipment for a well intervention along with installing the diverter during those visits, Total said.

Scottish authorities conducted chemical and sediment testing from sites 2 miles from the Elgin platform and said they found no direct marine contamination from the natural gas leak, the company said. No natural gas is leaking directly into the water.

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