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 02:01:53 in EntertainmentEverything But The Girl musician Ben Watt has been announced as part of the 15-strong longlist for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.
At 01:57:27 in HeadlinesCoral reefs may look static to the naked eye, but scientists have now seen "violent" activity on their surface.
At 01:53:31 in HealthWatching action films may make you more likely to pile on the pounds, according to US researchers.
At 01:38:45 in SportWith £150m of attacking talent already at his disposal, few expected Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal to dip back into the transfer market for another forward.
At 01:38:02 in SportThe transfer window has closed and now clubs and managers know what they will be dealing with until it reopens on 1 January.
At 01:29:13 in ScotlandLabour MP Jim Murphy is resuming his street tour of Scotland ahead of the independence referendum, following its suspension last week.
At 01:25:40 in ScotlandSuperfast computer technology is to be piloted in the Highlands.
At 01:20:52 in ScotlandFormer prime minister Gordon Brown has said an independent Scotland would become "an international outcast" if it refused to accept a share of UK debt.
At 01:19:02 in ScotlandChildren's entertainers The Singing Kettle have announced they are to stop performing from early next year.
At 01:15:10 in ScotlandWater voles have been recorded in a part of the Highlands for the first time in 20 years.
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 2nd Sep 2014]
News In Other Categories
Mr Vacuum Cleaner has swept into the debate over the EU's import ban on high-wattage vacuum cleaners.
Eight police officers have been disciplined over a failed search for a missing man who was later struck and killed by a train.
The government is desperate to get more young people interested in scientific subjects. Could a self-proclaimed "geek festival" held last weekend in Milton Keynes hold the answer?
American writer Ernest Hemingway had close links with Paris. He first lived there in 1920 and played a marginal, much-mythologised, role in the 1944 liberation of the city. But now, 70 years on, memories of the author are starting to fade.
A series of training flights by military helicopters and other aircraft ahead of the NATO summit startled residents in Newport and Cardiff on Monday.
Watching action films may make you more likely to pile on the pounds, according to US researchers.