Total was aware of issues at North Sea well for a month: boss admits

Total was aware of issues at North Sea well for a month: boss admits

Oil giant Total was aware of the fact that its Elgin rig well was leaking for around a month, French firm’s boss Philippe Guys has admitted.

Last Sunday, the firm evacuated all 238 workers from the North Sea platform amid fears of a massive blast. The platform off Scotland's East Coast was engulfed by a cloud of a poisonous gas.

Mr. Guys yesterday revealed that they were aware that a capped well in the North Sea was leaking, which prompted them to make an immediate decision to launch a fixing plan on 25th of February.

It may be noted here that the UK exploration arm of the French oil firm issued the alert on 25th of March- exactly a month after it launched a plan to fix the glitch.

In a news conference in Aberdeen, Mr. Guys said, "On February 25 we observed irregular pressure in the annuli. We very quickly moved to kill the annuli pressure by pumping it full with high density mud. On March 25, we observed a sudden pressure increase followed by an escape of mud, then gas."

Earlier, workers on the platform claimed that they had raised concerns about the well earlier in March, but the firm didn’t pay much attention to the workers’ fears.

Meanwhile, Total is yet to decide how to extinguish flare that sprang up just 100 meters away from where the gas is leaking. The flare was lit to relieve high pressure in the crisis-hit well.

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