6 Apr 2012

Reconnaissance team sent to leaking gas platform

7:56 pm on 6 April 2012

Total has sent a team of engineers on a reconnaissance mission to a leaking gas platform in the North Sea ahead of a plan to plug the well.

The French energy company says the team was taken to the Elgin rig by helicopter and spent four hours establishing which zones could be safely reached.

The rig is 241km off the coast of Aberdeen in eastern Scotland.

An estimated 200,000 cubic metres of natural gas has been flowing from the evacuated platform every day for two weeks.

Total says it wants to find out if pumping mud into the well is feasible.

Another option also being pursued is to dig two relief wells to the source of the gas at at a depth of 4000 metres, far below the sea bed.

Experts have said that option can take up to six months to complete.