A team of experts could fly to the platform at the centre of a major North Sea gas leak in the next few days.
The visit to the Total-owned Elgin platform, 150 miles off the Aberdeen coast, could happen as early as Wednesday or Thursday, but is dependent on the weather.
The team will assess the ongoing gas leak, but will not be able to carry out any work immediately.
The leak is costing the French oil giant £1.5m a day in lost production and the costs of emergency standby vehicles, it emerged earlier this week.
Gas has been leaking from a rock formation for nine days, since more than 200 staff were evacuated from the Elgin platform on March 25.
The immediate threat of a major incident has gone down, after a lit flare on the platform went out by itself.
Total is now looking at two different options for stemming the gas leak - pumping mud into the leaking well, or building a relief well which could take up to six months.