Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Tiny spark ‘could still lead to catastrophe’ on platform

Tiny spark ‘could still lead to catastrophe’ on platform
The tiniest spark could still cause a catastrophe on the Elgin platform, a trade union official warned last night.

The tiniest spark could still cause a catastrophe on the Elgin platform, a trade union official warned last night.

With the flare now out, the most immediate threat of ignition on the stricken North Sea instillation has been removed.

But Jake Molloy, of the RMT union, says putting people on the platform when gas is still leaking would be very risky.

“There is still a significant risk there,” he said. “If you are going to go on board and work on the well in situ, then it would be a pretty risky process when the gas is still flowing out.

“Unless the gas stops flowing of its own accord, I suspect the intervention would be through a relief well.”

Mr Molloy said dropping a spanner against a piece of steel could create a big enough spark to ignite the gas.

“Tackling the leak from on board the platform would mean introducing mechanical and electrical equipment, which could spark. Even a bit of static could create a spark – it is a very volatile situation.”

Total has suspended drilling operations on two rigs in the North Sea so they can be used in a major operation to help stop the Elgin platform gas leak.

The plan, which would involve two relief wells being drilled at an installation 150 miles east of Aberdeen, is one of two now being worked as the company battles to halt the constant flow of highly flammable hydrocarbons.

The second plan is to send a crew on to the platform to carry out a “well kill” operation

Both schemes were being hampered by the flare – which is used to burn off any excess fuel or gas after a shutdown.

Drilling the relief wells could take months, but operations could start in weeks now the flare is out.

Before any drilling can be done on relief wells the seabed will have to be surveyed to see where the rig can be positioned.

Mr Molloy added: “Our main concern was getting all of the workers off – and they are all off, so it is Total’s baby now.

“All I will say is good luck to them, and I hope they can get this situation under control as soon as possible.”

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts