Total installs diverter on leaking Elgin

Diversion: Total installs diverter on leaking Elgin platform

Total has installed a diverter onto the wellhead at its Elgin platform in the North Sea as it prepares a ‘dynamic kill’ procedure to halt a long-running gas leak.

Adverse weather conditions, however, meant that a team of experts could only make two flights to the processing, utilities and quarters (PUQ) facility this week, the French major said on Thursday.

(Click here to read all Upstream articles on the Elgin gas leak crisis.)

Total has been battling to control a gas leak on the G4 well since 25 March and recently spudded one of two relief wells which continues to drill ahead.

On Thursday it revealed that its team of experts had installed a diverter on the G4 wellhead to divert leaking gas away from the wellhead and platform.

“This reinforces the safety of the well intervention operation and helps alleviate restrictions on helicopter landings on the platform from now on.”

Last week the company said that the amount of gas leaking from the platform was chopped to around a third of its original volume.

“Due to the unfavourable weather conditions, a team of experts from Total and specialist contractors were able to make only two further flights to the Elgin platform this week,” Thursday’s statement continued.

“During these visits, in addition to installing the diverter, they were able to continue laying down essential equipment for the well intervention and undertook further monitoring and inspection.”

Total said its next step is to move the West Phoenix semi-submersible drilling rig to Elgin in advance of starting a top kill job to plug the well. The vessel Skandi Aker will assist in the operation.

Total said the Sedco 714 continues to drill the first relief well as planned but made no mention of the jack-up Rowan Gorilla V which has been lined up to drill the second relief well.

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