French oil major Total announced Tuesday morning (London time) that it has started its planned well-intervention operation to stop the leak from the G4 well on its Elgin complex in the North Sea. The gas leak, which was discovered in late March, caused Total to evacuate the platform.
This morning's well intervention operation got underway at 9:20am local time, with the pumping of heavy mud into the well from the main support vessel – the West Phoenix (UDW semisub) drilling rig – via a temporary pipeline connected to the G4 wellhead.
Total said that, depending on the precise conditions inside the well, the operation and subsequent observation period will last a few days before it is possible to confirm whether the operation has been a success.
Last week, Total moved the West Phoenix rig into position near the Elgin platform after flights to the platform allowed specialists from Total and contractors to focus on preparing the wellhead part of the platform ahead of the intervention operation.
Meanwhile, several flights over the area last week by the firm Oil Spill Response indicated that the leakage rate of gas was continuing to diminish significantly, Total reported at the time.
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