UK: Final Preparations for Planned Well Intervention on Elgin Platform
Final preparations for the planned well intervention on Elgin’s leaking G4 well are nearing completion. These have included the West Phoenix drilling rig positioning itself about 30 metres away from the Elgin complex ready to support the operation.
Weather permitting, the well intervention should now start within a very few days.
Before moving alongside Elgin, the West Phoenix had been on standby getting ready. Activities on board the rig this week have included: major welding of some key components; deployment of communication transponders; and final testing of essential equipment, such as the dynamic positioning and mist water systems.
Observations made during 11 over-flights of the area by OSRL (Oil Spill Response Limited) confirm visual inspections on the Elgin complex itself, indicating that the leakage rate of gas continues to diminish. This is now estimated at around 0.5 kg/second of gas, down from the initial estimates of 2.0 kg/second in the first days of the Elgin incident.
There have been 7 helicopter flights to Elgin this week by experts from Total and its range of specialist contractors. In addition to ongoing cleaning, monitoring and inspection, visits have focused on final preparatory work on the wellhead platform itself and the Elgin PUQ (Process Utilities Quarters) platform.
The drilling of the first back-up relief well by the Sedco 714 is still progressing as per plan.
Subsea World News Staff , May 11, 2012; Image: Total