Total: gas leak could go on for a 'significant period'

David Hainsworth of Total E&P UK, which operates the Elgin PUQ oil rig, admitted that the release of gas could go on "for a significant period of time". He said:

The gas is flammable but the platform power was turned off to minimise risk of ignition, but clearly there is a risk. We have taken away a series of risks but there is always a possibility, it's low but you never say never. The best-case scenario is that the gas in this area is not very productive and it dies off in the coming days and weeks. At the moment there is no real evolution of the sheen on the sea but if that was to change - and it's monitored on a daily basis - then the exclusion zone may be increased, but at the moment it will probably stay the same.

– DAVID HAINSWORTH, Health, Safety and Environment Manager, Total E&P UK

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North Sea gas leak

Shell has removed oil workers from two offshore rigs in the North Sea after a serious gas leak at a nearby Elgin platform, operated by Total. Engineers are still trying to find the source of the leak.