Total: Leak Could End This Month

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 06:04 PM gHale

A leak at Total’s North Sea Elgin gas platform could stop by the end of April, if everything goes as planned, said U.K. managing director Philippe Guys.

The French oil giant planned to carry out a successful “dynamic kill” on the leaking well before May.

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“We are working hard and if all goes as planned we envisage by the end of this month we should be having control of the well,” he said.

Total has said the leak is costing the company $2.5 million a day so far, and its stock has dropped by almost 7 percent since the news came out, knocking billions of euros off the company’s value.

Total has said it would take weeks of preparatory work, including several helicopter flights to transport equipment onto the rig, before a procedure to kill the well could begin.

The company flew specialist equipment into Aberdeen in Scotland over the weekend from Houston-based crisis management company Wild Well Control which is advising Total on how to plug the leak.

Total plans to pump mud into the well to stop the gas leak after a reconnaissance team found that conditions were safe enough to allow the operation.

Guys was speaking after another specialist team on Tuesday flew to the platform to carry out inspections, cleaning work, and to record the pressure of the gas spewing out of the platform.

An initial environmental impact analysis of the leak suggests that damage to marine life is minimal.