Total gas leak: Scientists test marine impact at Elgin platform
Published: 6th Apr 2012 10:05:52
A team of scientists is due to begin a detailed environmental assessment of the ongoing gas leak at the Elgin platform in the North Sea.
A Scottish government marine research vessel will spend four days at the site.
Marine Scotland, Sepa, the Health and Safety Executive and Scottish Natural Heritage are among the bodies involved.
On Thursday, a team from the platform's operators Total flew to the installation by helicopter.
The eight people who boarded the Elgin, 150 miles east of Aberdeen, included three workers who were familiar with the installation and five others from a company called Wild Well Control which specialises in capping wells.
It was the first time anybody had been back to the platform since it was evacuated almost a fortnight ago.
They carried out a preliminary survey of the leak area, established zones which can be safely accessed and gathered data, before safely returning to Aberdeen.
Marine Scotland will oversee the environmental group set-up to examine the impact of the leak.
Scientists will begin collecting and analysing sea samples from the survey ship Alba na Mara.
Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "I welcome that a new environment group is now established which is considering all available data on the environmental impact of this incident.
"I have consistently highlighted the need for openness and transparency and am therefore extremely pleased that Total have made all information on surveillance flights and sampling analysis publicly available on their website.
"The environmental risk continues to be assessed as minimal at this stage."
All workers were removed from the platform when the leak was detected at the end of last month.
The company believes it is coming from a rock formation above the main reservoir, at a depth of 4,000m.
Air and sea exclusion zones were set up in the area after the leak began.
Total hopes to be able to carry out a "dynamic killing" of the leak. This would involve pumping heavy mud back in at high pressure in an attempt to stabilise the well, so it can then be plugged.
The ongoing situation is said to be costing Total an estimated $1.5m (£940,000) a day in lost production.
At 01:00:24 in HeadlinesThe UK government has allocated £290m for new international science projects.
At 00:57:03 in HealthThe NHS has lost nearly 4,000 senior nursing posts since 2010, putting patient care at risk, warns the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).
At 00:56:45 in PoliticsRAF reconnaissance aircraft will be sent to monitor the crisis in Ukraine, the Ministry of Defence has said.
At 00:56:24 in HealthChildren in the UK are eating far too much salt, with much of it coming from breads and cereals, research suggests.
At 00:49:07 in Northern IrelandA man has been shot in both legs in an attack in Londonderry.
At 00:43:36 in HeadlinesFour woodlands are set to be created across the UK as part of a £12m project by the Woodland Trust to mark the centenary of the World War One.
At 00:41:20 in EntertainmentCheryl Cole has confirmed she is to rejoin the X Factor, along with Simon Cowell, for the show's 12th series.
At 00:32:29 in WorldA new report from researchers at Oxford University argues that large dams are a risky investment - soaring past projected budgets, drowning emerging economies in debt and failing to deliver promised benefits . Do they ever really make sense?
At 00:23:05 in BusinessThe UK's winter floods have given the jobs market an "unexpected boost" as new staff are hired to cope with the clean-up, Manpower has said.
At 00:22:28 in WorldThousands of victims of human rights violations committed during 18 years of military rule in Bolivia are being denied access to justice and compensation, according to Amnesty International. Paula Dear and Amaru Villanueva Rance report from La Paz on allegations that there is a lack of political will to uncover the truth.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Total gas leak: Scientists test marine impact at Elgin platform [Online] (Updated 6th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1421023/Total-gas-leak-Scientists-test-marine-impact-at-Elgin-platform [Accessed 11th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
Police control rooms in Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire could be run by one force HQ to save millions of pounds, the BBC has learned.
RAF reconnaissance aircraft will be sent to monitor the crisis in Ukraine, the Ministry of Defence has said.
The analysis of large volumes of data collected from fields, warehouses, trucks - and even animals' stomachs - may be key to preventing widespread hunger in the coming decades.
Police have reported three people to the procurator fiscal and warned a further six after a crackdown on illegal motorcyclists in Fife.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Football Association chairman Greg Dyke says a complete ban on players and club staff betting on football matches could soon be introduced.