French oil major Total, announced that their well intervention efforts at the North Sea Elgin complex were successful in finally halting the flow of gas from the leaking G4 well. The operation, which involved pumping heavy mud into the leaking well, began on May 15th and the leak was stopped 12 hours later.
Speaking about the Elgin situation, Yves-Louis DarricarrÃ¨re, Total’s President of Exploration & Production, said:
“Today, a major turning point has been achieved. Our absolute priority was to stop the gas leak safely and as quickly as possible. Since March 25th, we have been working closely with the authorities and we have communicated transparently and will continue to do so. We shall now fully complete the ongoing task and take into account the lessons learnt from this incident.”
The G4 well had been leaking following an incident on 25 March, which led to 238 people being quickly and safely evacuated from Elgin and an adjacent drilling rig, the Rowan Viking. From an estimated initial gas flow rate of around 2 kg/second, the leak had progressively decreased to an estimated 0.5 kg/s.
Since the beginning of the incident, experts from Total and specialist contractors have been working to stop the leak. During the coming days, these teams will closely monitor the G4 well in order to confirm the complete success of the intervention.