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.

Gas leak repair team wait for weather

Christophe de Margerie
Christophe de Margerie

The operation to plug Total’s North Sea gas leak could be completed within days of being launched.

Chief executive Christophe de Margerie said the firm is only waiting for the right weather to start work at the G4 well on the Elgin platform.

The announcement was made just over seven weeks after gas started spewing from the installation, 150 miles off Aberdeen.

The incident led to an emergency evacuation.

Total is working on two procedures to stop the leak – a “well kill”, which Mr Margerie said could take days once work starts, and the drilling of a relief well, which could take months.

Speaking at a conference in Australia, Mr Margerie said: “The leak should be stopped in a few days, solely depending on weather forecasts, which we don’t control.”

The “well kill” operation involves pumping heavy mud down into the well using the West Phoenix, a semi-submersible rig. Once the mud has blocked the gas, cement will be poured into the well to seal it.

A Total spokesman said last night: “Final preparations have been completed and we’re waiting on an appropriate weather window to be able to start the well intervention operation.”

On Friday Mr Margerie told shareholders in Paris the leak would cost Total £186million-£248million in lost production, without taking into account money spent on plugging it. All 238 staff were evacuated from the Elgin platform and the Rowan Viking drilling rig when the gas leaked on March 25. Last week, the West Phoenix was put in position just under 100ft away from the platform ready to support the operation.

Drilling of the first back-up relief well by the Sedco 714, a back-up plan to stem the gas should the well kill fail, has been progressing as planned.

Total has previously said the rate of gas leaking from the platform was “diminishing significantly”.

Its most recent prediction was that just less than 2.5 tonnes of gas was escaping from the G4 well every hour, compared with the seven tonnes initially.

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts