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Tue Mar 27, 2012, 01:58 PM

Elgin platform gas leak: Work 'could take six months' says Total

Source: BBC

Oil company Total has revealed it could take six months to drill a relief well to stop the gas leak on its Elgin platform in the North Sea.

The company is looking at several options to stem the flow of gas following Sunday's incident.

Jake Molloy, of the RMT union, said the potential remained for "catastrophic devastation".

Exclusion zones have been put in place around the platform. Shell also announced a shutdown of a platform.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-17522086



Here we go again. Drill, baby, drill anyone?

9 replies, 2677 views

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Reply Elgin platform gas leak: Work 'could take six months' says Total (Original post)
DFW Mar 2012 OP
NickB79 Mar 2012 #1
DFW Mar 2012 #2
NickB79 Mar 2012 #3
DFW Mar 2012 #4
Offshoreworker Mar 2012 #5
uppityperson Mar 2012 #6
Ian David Mar 2012 #7
BelgianMadCow Mar 2012 #8
DFW Mar 2012 #9

Response to DFW (Original post)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 04:56 PM

1. This is natural gas, not oil, that is leaking

So that's a small relief, since the natural gas will eventually percolate out of the seawater with time and not cause the same kind of toxic effects oil would.

Still, there will be localized damage to sealife around the well, not to mention all that methane (a potent greenhouse gas) leaking out into the atmosphere.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 05:07 PM

2. The gas is under high pressure at that depth

And that area of the North Sea provides a LOT of the fish we eat here in Europe. If TOTAL plays down the effects of the leak to the extent that BP did of theirs, the true dimension of the damage won't be known for a week or more. Already, the fact that low-flying (under a mile) aircraft have been barred from flying anywhere near there gives an indication how much gas has already leaked out. And this is after only two days. If it takes six months to cap the leak, one spark could lead to one very big ka-boom indeed.

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Response to DFW (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 05:36 PM

3. Oh, don't get me wrong, this is really bad for the local ocean area

But compared to the BP blowout in the Gulf, it's impacts will be less simply due to the fact that it's gas that can dissipate into the air rather than viscous oil that will be washing up on European beaches.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 07:13 PM

4. IF that is all it's limited to

I guess after Deepwater Horizon, I trust none of them any more.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 07:59 PM

5. WTF

Do you actually understand any of this?

There is a vast flare on top of the stack, similar to:



this is still illuminated!

How much spark potential do you think a chopper landing has? When you consider garage forecourts ban the use of mobile phones!?!?! They would have needed around 10 - 11 choppers to completely remove everyone from the platform.

The gas pressure under the Elgin is massive, far greater than 90% of other platforms worldwide. It's the price we all pay for our energy. Stick old banana skins into a bin and waiting for them to heat up is not a very efficient way to heat or cook.

Incidently, BP are not totally to blame for the GOM disaster, as has been shown already Halliburton is one of the others who have to take a fair portion of the blame.

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Response to Offshoreworker (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 08:16 PM

6. Why so irate at someone posting a BBC article?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 09:50 PM

7. Because he's paid to be. n/t

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 03:49 AM

8. and it's all no big deal, supposedly...I call BS (also Reuters link)

a leak that causes such a cloud as to be visible from miles away is no small thing. Of course, it's "only" gas - except that it is another case of pumping huge quantities of methane (23 times worse than C02, greenhouse-gas-wise) into the atmosphere. A factor that was "neglected" in the GOM BP disaster as well. I for one don't think emissions at these levels are to be ignored or brushed aside.

We seem intent as a species to find out what the non-linear phase of global warming is gonna bring.

The way it's being (under)reported and how TOTAL says "all is OK, all personnel are evacuated" as if that's all there is to it.
Also "production from the well has been stopped" - but it's an adjacent reservoir that is probably leaking. All smells like PR damage control to me.

This Reuters article has a lot of info:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/27/us-total-gasleak-idUSBRE82Q0G720120327

There is a "small" sheen visible as well. A reconnaissance flight is planned.

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Response to BelgianMadCow (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 04:30 PM

9. I have been working nonstop practically since my last post, but

My wife has been monitoring the German media, and they, at least think this is a far bigger deal than the
press and TOTAL have so far indicated. If they are forbidding planes lower than 4000 feet, I rather doubt
they are allowing open flames on the surface.

I'm with you on the BS aspect. The Gulf spill was trivialized for about a week, too before the extent of the
damage even started to become known.

I do agree that Halliburton was to blame in part (big part) for the BP disaster. They have ALWAYS skipped corners
when providing services, whether securing the gulf rig, providing adequate armor to our troops in Iraq,or providing uncontaminated watre to our troops around the world.

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