Total planning to send staff back to Elgin platform
02 April 2012
French oil company Total plans to send a helicopter to inspect its Elgin North Sea platform in the next few days to ensure it is safe before beginning work on capping a well that has been leaking explosive gas since March 25. It will then send a team including specialists from American company Wild Well Control to assess the leak and see what can be done to plug it.
Total is planning to send staff back to the Elgin platform to try to kill the leaking well
Officials from the company have met Britain's Health and Safety Executive to discuss the risks involved in sending staff back to the platform.
All 238 workers had been evacuated and an exclusion zone set up around the platform for safety reasons, with fire-fighting ships on standby.
Total wants to launch two processes in parallel to stop the gas leak from the well. In the first, the company will inject drilling mud to kill the leaking well, while the second involves digging two relief wells, which could take six months and cost up to $3 billion.
Total CEO Christophe De Margerie said on March 31 that a flare on the platform went out without intervention, reducing the threat of the gas being released into the atmosphere causing an explosion.
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