The UK Government has granted environmental permits for an operation to stem the ongoing North Sea gas leak.
French oil giant Total wants to pump heavy mud into the leak at the Elgin platform in a bid to stop the gas which has been leaking since March.
Environmental permits for the dynamic kill operation were granted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change this week.
A spokesman said: "DECC has carried out a full environmental assessment of the operation and the Health and Safety Executive has confirmed it has no objections to this intended activity.
"The government and Total have been working hard to ensure the Elgin gas release is dealt with as quickly and as safely as possible, with minimal impact on the environment.
"The dynamic kill operation is a major step for Total and offers the quickest way to stop the release from the well. In parallel, work is under way to drill a relief well as an alternative solution. We continue to monitor the situation closely."
The West Phoenix drilling rig has been stationed inside the exclusion zone, alongside the Elgin platform to work as the pumping vessel in the kill operation.
A Total spokesman said: "Total is on track to begin the intended well intervention operation within the coming days, subject to continuing favourable weather."