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North Sea gas leak: plug plan gets green light

North Sea Gas Leak

Powered by article titled “North Sea gas leak: plug plan gets green light” was written by David Teather, for The Guardian on Friday 6th April 2012 19.40 UTC

Plans to “kill” a gas leak on an offshore platform by pumping mud into it can go ahead, experts said on Friday.

A team inspected the leak on the Elgin platform about 150 miles off Aberdeen to decide how best to stop the leak. No one had been back to the platform since the leak forced its evacuation nearly two weeks ago.

The inspection confirmed gas was leaking from the well head but not from underwater, so intervention could proceed as planned. A spokesman for Wild Well Control said: “Everything went as we would have hoped and the planned well intervention is achievable.

The team of specialists flew out to the platform on Friday and spent four hours on the installation. They carried out a preliminary survey of the leak area, established zones which can be safely accessed and gathered data.

Three Total employees and five specialists from Wild Well Control, a specialised well intervention company, took off from Aberdeen at 10.30am and landed on the platform before safely returning to Aberdeen shortly before 5pm.

Plans are also still progressing for the drilling of a relief well, as well as a back-up relief well.

Meanwhile, an environmental impact assessment of the gas leak has also got under way.

The newly-established Environment Group, chaired by Marine Scotland, is to assess and monitor the impact of the leak. Marine Research Vessel Alba na Mara has begun work collecting and analysing environmental samples. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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