UK: Total Conducts Further Operations on Stopping Elgin Gas Leak

An important advancement in stopping the leak on the G4 well on the Elgin complex was made on 4 May when the semi-submersible drilling rig, the West Phoenix, moved within the current exclusion zone ready to position itself directly alongside the complex.

This dynamically positioned rig will be the main support vessel during the forthcoming well intervention operation and will be used to pump heavy mud into the G4 well in order to stop the leak. Total is on track to begin the intended well intervention operation within the coming days, subject to continuing favourable weather.

Improved weather and the fitting of the ‘diverter’ to the leaking G4 wellhead last week enabled 8 additional flights to Elgin by teams of experts from Total and specialist contractors.

Visits to Elgin this week have focused primarily on completing the installation of the temporary pipe system on the Production Utilities Quarters (PUQ) platform, linking bridge and wellhead platform. It will be used to carry and pump heavy mud from the West Phoenix.

The specially designed diverter had a beneficial effect on essential preparatory works on the platform. By safely redirecting leaking gas and condensates away from the platform, more helicopter flights to Elgin have been possible.

In parallel, drilling of the first back-up relief well by the Sedco 714 is still progressing according to plan.

Subsea World News Staff , May 07, 2012;  Image: Total