Relief well under way at leaking Elgin gas complex

Total says work on the two solutions to halt the gas leak on the Elgin platform’s G4 well in the central North Sea is progressing as planned.

Offshore staff

PARIS – Total says work on the two solutions to halt the gas leak on the Elgin platform’s G4 well in the central North Sea is progressing as planned.

The semisubSedco 714 is drilling the G4 relief well (G4-K1) as of April 18. This will serve as a backup to the well control operation to stop the leak.

The well site is 2 km (1.2 mi) east of the Elgin complex in water depths of around 90 m (295 ft). Another rig, the Rowan Gorilla V, is suspending operations on the nearby West Franklin field and will be available for deployment by early-May.

In parallel, plans continue for positioning of the pumping vessel for the well intervention alongside the Elgin complex. The West Phoenix is on standby just outside the two nautical mile Elgin exclusion zone.

Additionally, Total has mobilized the intervention vesselSkandi Aker, currently in port at Peterhead, northeast Scotland, to support the well intervention operation.

Following two helicopter journeys last week to the Elgin platform, Total and Wild Well Control teams confirmed that the Elgin PUQ platform is safe to support the G4 well control operations.

They also continued their work to lay out equipment and ensure that the platform systems required to support the intervention are functional.

Latest scientific flights, modelling, and platform visits show a decrease in the gas leak rate, to around one third of the initial estimate of 200,000 cu m/d (7.06 MMcf/d) of gas reported during the early stages of this incident.

Scottish authorities have found no evidence of direct marine contamination as a result of the leak, Total adds, after chemical testing of water and sediment samples taken 2 mi (3.2 km) from the Elgin platform.

4/23/2012

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