Total to abandon Elgin by September

Aug. 6, 2012 at 8:03 AM
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LONDON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- French energy company Total is expected to have a faulty well in the North Sea plugged by the middle of September, the British government said.

Total announced natural gas was leaking from its Elgin complex off the coast of Aberdeen in late 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.

The British Department of Energy and Climate Change stated that Total installed a system to capture the oil-based mud. A plan to cement the well should be completed by mid-September, the agency said.

The government estimates around 2,900 barrels of natural gas condensate formed the initial sheen from the incident. Sheen had evaporated and dispersed "completely within days of the settlement," the DECC stated.

None of the natural gas from the Elgin platform reached shore and there were few reports of major environmental damage. The British government said any environmental effects from the incident were localized and minimal.

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