Total Confirms Decrease in Elgin Leak

PARIS - Total SA Friday said that the latest scientific flights over its North Sea platform of Elgin confirmed the decrease in the gas leak rate that forced the oil major to abandon and power down the platform.

The gas leak rate has decreased to a third of the initial estimate in its first days at the end of March, which was around 200,000 cubic meters a day, it said.

This week, Total also flew two helicopters to the platform which confirmed that the structure "provides a safe base from which to support the G4 [well] control operations."

The specialized crew who boarded the platform continued to lay out equipment and ensure that the platform systems required to support the intervention are functional, it also said.

Total is currently working simultaneously on two options to end the leak: a top kill job of the leaking well, from the platform, and the drilling of two relief wells.

Workers were evacuated from the platform March 25 having detected a massive gas leak from a well that it was trying to seal after having encountered several issues with it over the past year.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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