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Total Still Investigating Cause Of North Sea Gas Leak

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4/2/2012 3:33 AM ET

French oil giant Total SA (TOT: Quote, TTFNF.PK, TTA.L) Monday said it is progressing with its actions to stop the gas leak incident on the plugged G4 production well on Elgin platform in North Sea. The company is still investigating the cause of the gas leak, but estimates the gas leakage rate to be nearly 7 Mcf/d.

Last Tuesday, Total confirmed the gas leak which started that weekend. The company said its actions to stop the leakage include pumping of heavy mud directly into the well and drilling of relief wells to intervene at the source of the gas flow.

Total noted that the size of the flare diminishing and the current impact and risks for the environment are relatively low.

According to Total, it will deploy Sedco 714 and Rowan Gorilla V, the two available drilling rigs under contract in the area, for the drilling of the relief wells.

The UK authorities have already set up an exclusion zone around the platform as a wide safety margin. The company also stated that cooperation and coordination with relevant UK authorities is ongoing.

The gas leak has also forced Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (RDS-A, RDSA.L, RDSB.L, RDS-B) to shut down and evacuate workers from Shearwater and Noble Hans Deul rigs, after a safety exclusion zone of two miles was declared by the authorities.

Total said it will continue to make regular updates on the situation.

In Paris, Total shares are currently trading at 38.68 euros, up 1.13 percent, on a volume of 731 thousand shares. In the US, the shares ended on Friday at $51.12.

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by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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