Alert at Total. The gas leak occurred Sunday afternoon on its Elgin gas field, 240 kilometers east of Aberdeen in Scotland is growing. Tuesday afternoon, the authorities decided to ban flights within 3 nautical miles (5.5 km) from the platform Elgin and navigation within 2 miles (3.7 km).
The latest information provided by a spokesman for Total in Aberdeen, the gas does not ignite. The 238 employees of the platform were evacuated by helicopter Monday, without being able to stop the leak.
For good reason, Elgin is nicknamed "the pit of hell" because of the pressure and temperature "extremes" in the words of the website of Total, prevailing in the gas tank, buried 5000 meters below seabed.
Total According, the pressure is of the order of 1100 bars, the equivalent of one tonne concentrated on the surface of a fingernail. By comparison, the pressure in the well Deepwater Horizon, in the Gulf of Mexico, scene of the worst oil spill in U.S. in 2010 was 800 bars.
Two fireboats are on alert at the border of 2000, ready to intervene. Tuesday afternoon, experts from Total does not always explain the reasons for flight. Among the possible operations is discussed drilling a relief well which would reduce the pressure of the leak in the original well. An intervention that would take six months, admits it at Total.
According to the spokesman of the French company in Aberdeen, 20 tons of gas may have leaked. Moreover, the condensate - oil - lasted about 4.8 km2 Tuesday. A plane carrying the dispersant on board was ready to take off. The company Shell has reduced its staff on its platforms nearby Shearwater Noble Hans Deul and.
Total shares fall
At the Paris Bourse, the action of a number of the CAC40 lost 8% to 14.30. At Total, the oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon BP in 2010 is on everyone's mind. The company opened a website dedicated to the incident.
According to Frederic Hauge of Bellona Norwegian environmental NGO that monitors the production of hydrocarbons in the North Sea, quoted by Reuters, "the staff has seen the sea boil. I am very concerned about the situation. It can only get worse.
". In a statement, Total said "at this stage the leak does not have a significant impact on the environment."