UK Regulator Gives OK to Total on North Sea Elgin Restart

LONDON - The regulator of the U.K.'s offshore oil and gas industry said Wednesday that it has accepted the safety case submitted by French oil company Total SA for the restart of the Elgin gas field in the North Sea, which was shut down because of a gas leak a year ago.

"It will now be for Total to decide when to restart operations," said the U.K. Health and Safety Executive in an emailed statement.

The HSE said it is still investigating the incident on March 25 last year, but that it was satisfied that Total has, "re-evaluated the risks associated with operating the installation."

The timing of the restart of production at the Eglin-Franklin facilities, which contributed around 9% of the U.K.'s oil and gas production before the shutdown, is important for the U.K. economy as it teeters on the brink of its third recession in five years.

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

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