Bloomberg News

Total Says Flare at Elgin Gas Platform in U.K. Extinguish

March 31, 2012

Total SA (FP), Europe’s third-largest oil company, said a flare at its Elgin natural-gas platform in the U.K. North Sea extinguished itself as gas continued to leak from the site for a sixth day.

Total, based in Paris, had indications through observations by surveillance flights yesterday that the flare may have died out, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. Gas started to leak from the platform on March 25.

“We received what we consider final confirmation at 8.20 a.m. this morning, when our sea vessels on location reported no further flare activity through the night,” Total said in the statement.

Total is preparing to drill two emergency wells at Elgin, to stop the leak from the field located about 150 miles east of Aberdeen. About 200,000 cubic meters of gas a day is escaping, Philippe Guys, Total’s managing director for U.K. exploration and production, told reporters yesterday in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The extinguished flare means “one risk less” of a fire at the platform, Charles-Etienne Lebatard, a Total spokesman, said today in a telephone interview. “We remain mobilized to stop the leak.”

Maximum output at Elgin-Franklin is 280,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, including 175,000 barrels of condensate and 15.5 million cubic meters of gas, according to Total’s website.

The field started in 2001 and supplied more than 1 percent of all the U.K.’s gas last year, data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change show. Output from Elgin was 1.3 billion cubic meters in 2011.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net


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