Photo story French oil major Total was preparing technical solutions to stop the ...

Photo story French oil major Total was preparing technical solutions to stop the Elgin North Sea platform gas leak, as this issue of Energy World went to press. A reconnaissance mission to the Elgin complex by a team of Total experts and specialist contractors had confirmed that planning for a well intervention operation to bring the leaking G4 well under control could continue as planned. The team found no presence of gas on the Elgin PUQ (Process, Utilities, Quarters) platform, which is connected by a 90-metre bridge to the Well Head Platform (WHP) where the leak is located. The access routes to the WHP were also found to be free of gas and the team was able to access the rig. The structural condition of the platform, the G4 wellhead and surrounding areas, including the rig, were found to be unchanged since the complex was evacuated on 25 March. The leak is coming from the G4 wellhead at WHP deck level and a remote operated vehicle survey confirmed no underwater gas leak, said Total. Specialists planned to return to the platform within the coming days to complete the survey and develop detailed plans. At the same time, preparations were still proceeding for the drilling of a relief well and a backup relief well, added Total, which also suggested that visual observations from a nearby vessel and temperature measurements suggest that the gas leak rate has decreased during the last few days. On 25 March, Total reported that a gas leak occurred at the wellhead platform on the Elgin gas field, which is located in the UK North Sea 240 km east of Aberdeen. The company immediately launched internal emergency procedures and mobilised crisis management teams in Aberdeen and Paris. Some 238 personnel were evacuated onshore, and no injuries have been reported. Production on the Elgin, Franklin and West Franklin fields is fully stopped. A flare on the Elgin platform continued to burn for several days before extinguishing itself. Following confirmation on 31 March that the flare was out, Total began preparing operations to regain control of the leaking well. Elgin and Franklin are two high pressure/high temperature gas and condensate fields in the Central Graben Area of North Sea. Total E&P UK owns 46.17% and is operator of both fields and its average share of production was around 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2011. Hydrocarbons produced from the Elgin, Franklin and West Franklin fields are collected, separated and treated at the central processing facility on the PUQ. Liquid hydrocarbons are exported through the Forties Pipeline System via Cruden Bay to Kinneil for processing, and commercial quality gas is compressed and exported through the SEAL (Shearwater Elgin Area Line) pipeline to Bacton in Norfolk. Total Elgin.jpg The Elgin platforms pictured on 27 March, 52 hours after the incident was first reported

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