Total moves in relief wells to gas leak zone

French oil major Total has mobilised rigs from its Fettercairn and West Franklin fields in the North Sea to drill two relief wells at its gas leaking Elgin platform, the company said on Monday.

Two other vessels are also standing by near the platform to start underwater inspections and seabed surveys, Total said.

"Both vessels are currently awaiting optimum sea conditions before they can be deployed," Total said in a statement.

The company is also working with Britain's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to agree conditions under which access to the platform can be gained safely.

Once people are on the platform, preparations for controlling the leak by pumping mud down the well can start, Total said.