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Total's Elgin platform gas leak plug a success

22 May 2012

The operation to plug the gas leak on the Elgin platform in the North Sea has been a success, French oil giant Total said on May 20. The company announced on May 15 that the leak beneath Elgin had finally been plugged, some 12 hours after the initiation of a dynamic well kill operation.

Close monitoring since the well-kill operation on May 15 has confirmed that the leaking gas well beneath the Elgin platform has been plugged successfully
Close monitoring since the well-kill operation on May 15 has confirmed that the leaking gas well beneath the Elgin platform has been plugged successfully

The well kill involved pumping heavy drilling mud into the rogue G4 well from the drilling rig West Phoenix. Almost 1,000 tonnes of mud were injected into the well before the leak was confirmed to have been stopped.

The company's platform, 150 miles east of Aberdeen, was evacuated when gas and condensates began leaking from beneath the platform on March 25.

Total said close monitoring since May 15 had shown that the operation was a success. The next step will be to re-man the Elgin complex and restart the Viking drilling rig to set cement plugs on the G4 well, which will take several weeks

Yves-Louis Darricarrère, president of exploration and production at Total, said: "While we will obviously take on board any lessons to be learned, I want to congratulate all the teams, including our partners that have been mobilised with the only focus to stop the leak.

"Safely evacuating everyone from the platform and adjacent drilling rig, preventing any serious environmental impact and recovering control of the G4 well, is a highly commendable effort from the teams involved.

"Now, it is important that we continue to work together with the authorities to conclude the ongoing investigations, take into account lessons learnt and define the necessary conditions for restarting production of the Elgin-Franklin fields."




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