NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Elgin gas leak in North Sea costing Total $1.5m a day

Elgin platform
Image caption The leak at the Elgin platform, 150 miles off Aberdeen, has been ongoing since last Sunday

The North Sea gas leak is costing oil company Total an estimated $1.5m (£940,000) a day in lost production.

All workers were removed from the Elgin installation, 150 miles off Aberdeen, when gas began escaping eight days ago.

The French-owned company said a relief well operation could cost between $150m (£94m) and $200m (£125m).

Total said a team, including specialists from American company Wild Well Control, will go and assess the leak and what could be done to stop it.

It hopes to fly them onto the installation by helicopter within the "next couple of days".

The company said it had ample resources to deal with the ongoing incident.

A spokesman said there were no plans to change its capital expenditure plan or dividend payments.

Relief well

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has started publishingdetails of all oil spillson its website.

The move is designed to increase transparency within the industry.

Data from hydrocarbon releases going back to the start of the year has been made available online.

Total confirmed over the weekend that a flare on the Elgin platform has extinguished itself.

Officials from the firm will discuss the risks involved in flying a team on to the installation with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Air and sea exclusion zones were set-up in the area after the leak began last Sunday.

On Friday, Total UK's managing director Phillipe Guys said the company had not found any evidence of human error.

The firm believes the leak is coming from a rock formation above the main reservoir, at a depth of 4,000m.

Total is currently considering solutions including drilling a relief well, which could take months.

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