Total unveils plan to tackle gas leak crisis

FRENCH oil major Total yesterday moved two rigs to drill relief wells in a bid to make its leaking Elgin platform safe.

The leak is costing Total $2.5m (£1.6m) a day in lost production and the relief operations, the firm said in a conference call yesterday.

Reconnaissance aircraft assessed the scene after a flare on the platform was extinguished and the gas field off the Scottish coast was considered safe enough for fly-overs.

A remote controlled underwater surveillance vehicle is also at the scene to assess the damage. The company is also planning to send emergency staff on to Elgin, though rough conditions were yesterday hampering the operation.

Total said it is also working with the Health and Safety Executive, which will help assess when personnel can safely start working on the rigs again.

Total said in a statement: “Once the platform is accessed, advanced preparations for controlling the well can proceed.”

The company first reported the leak on 25 March.