The gas leaking from the Elgin platform is dispersing thanks to breezier conditions in the North Sea.
Total said it is “actively preparing” operations to regain control of the G4 well, which has been leaking gas since last Sunday.
One option for dealing with the problem is pumping mud into the well, which would need people to reboard the platform.
The firm is in talks with the Health and Safety Executive about how this could be done safely.
It said it hopes outside specialists from Wild Well Control could board the platform, accompanied by Total personnel, within a couple of days. If a first visit to the platform is successful, Total plans to fly out more engineers by the end of the week to inject mud.
Workers are expected to wear personal breathing apparatus and gas detectors to protect them against dangers on the site.
In a statement, Total said: “Once the platform is accessed, advanced preparations for controlling the well can proceed.
“Total has identified and is sourcing the necessary support vessels required to facilitate the operation.”
The other option is to drill a relief well and a back-up relief well but this could take months.
Total has already mobilised two rigs to drill these wells and said both will move to the site when they finish current operations. One of them, Sedco 714, is drilling the Fettercairn field, 248.5 miles north of the Elgin platform, while the other, Rowan Gorilla V, is drilling the West Franklin field 3.7 miles from the gas leak site.
Total said it is also considering using other drilling rigs so it has the “widest possible range of options”.
About 172 tonnes of gas is escaping from the platform each day, coming out from a rock formation below the sea. It is then escaping into the air from a leak on the platform at the top of the well, about 80ft above sea level. Two other “key” vessels are also standing by at the site.
They are remotely-operated vehicles which can carry out underwater inspections and a similar vessel which surveys the seabed.
Total said aircraft and firefighting vessels continue to monitor the site.
A HSE spokesman said: “Our specialist offshore safety inspectors met with Total today (Monday) to offer further advice on the risk assessments Total have prepared to land contractors on its Elgin platform and make an assessment of the nature of the leak.
“Total sought detailed feedback from HSE on these assessments which HSE has now provided. Total is in the process of considering the responses offered by HSE and continues to plan its operation to board the installation in light of that.”