A team of engineers have stemmed a gas leak at a platform in the North Sea.
Gas had been leaking from the Elgin platform, located 150 miles off the coast of Aberdeen, since March 25. The platform is owned by French energy corporation Total and their engineers have been working for nearly two months to bring the leak to an end.
Experts have been pursuing two approaches to stem the spillage: pumping heavy mud into the wellhead and drilling two relief wells to allow more mud to be pumped in.
On Wednesday morning, the company announced that the operation had been a success.
Yves-Louis Darricarrère, Total’s President of Exploration & Production, said: “Today, a major turning point has been achieved. Our absolute priority was to stop the gas leak safely and as quickly as possible.
“Since March 25th, we have been working closely with the authorities and we have communicated transparently and will continue to do so. We shall now fully complete the ongoing task and take into account the lessons learnt from this incident.”
When the leak was uncovered all 238 staff were evacuated from the platform and have not returned since to allow specialists to carry out their repair work.
Total’s chief executive Christophe de Margerie has predicted that the fallout from the leak could cost the company between £186m and £248m in lost production.
Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead welcomed the news of the leak stoppage, saying: "This is clearly good news from Total that the initial efforts to stop the Elgin gas leak appear to have been successful. Further monitoring will be needed to ensure that this is a lasting solution, but this is a welcome step in the right direction."
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