Posts Tagged "plateforme Elgin"

Nightmare in the North Sea

2 Apr 2012

At 12:15 on March 25th an incident occurred at the Elgin-Franklin offshore platform complex situated approximately 240km east of Aberdeen. It is estimated that a total 200,000 cubic meters of gas per day, is spreading into the atmosphere and directly impacting 4.8 km2 of the marine environment. According to Total they are currently unable to assess the exact quantity of gas which is leaking into the environment, they have stated that the size of the sheen is reducing.

The cloud of hot gas which reaches temperatures of 190°C around the Elgin platform is explosive in and around the zone. It is within this explosive zone that the emergency team will have to intervene to inject the well with mud to try to cut off the gas. No responsible employer would ever take such a high risk with their workers lives. Even if the depth of water from the well head is only 93 meters it could take up to 6 months to drill relief wells in extremely dangerous situation of explosive gas. Maybe an option could be to sit back and do nothing as has been done before, since 1990 methane gas has continued to leak into the North Sea from a drilling exploration expedition that went wrong at bloc 22/4b. The industry and the British authorities concluded that sealing the well could result in uncontrolled release from new leakage paths in the fragile geologic formation.

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