Total has confirmed that gas continues to leak from its Elgin well head platform in the UK North Sea as of 29 March 2012, four days after the incident occurred.
In a statement, Total said the site is currently stable and that a gas cloud in the area is heading away from Elgin facilities. The French oil and gas company said the volume of gas escaping is difficult to estimate as it is believed to originate from a rock formation above Elgin’s producing reservoir.
The gas leak first occurred at 12:25 GMT on 25 March 2012. The incident led to the evacuation of all 238 personnel and the subsequent production shutdown at Elgin, Franklin, and West Franklin gas fields.
In response to the incident, Royal Dutch shell evacuated 120 non-essential workers from nearby Shearwater field and associated drilling rig Hans Duel, the BBC reported.
Total said it is continuing to monitor the situation, conducting aerial surveys three times daily and stationing fire fighting vessels nearby. An airplane from Hercules Offshore is on standby with dispersants.
The Elgin/Franklin development is a high pressure, high temperature project located in the Central Craben Area of the North Sea, approximately 240 km east of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Total operates the Elgin-Franklin fields with a 46% stake through its subsidiary Elgin Franklin Oil & Gas.