Flare Extinguished at North Sea Gas Leak (TOT)

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For the past week about 7 million cubic feet of gas per day from a leaking well in the North Sea’s Elgin field. The leaking well, operated by Total SA (NYSE: TOT), as well as others nearby were evacuated last week because a burning flare threatened to ignite the leaking gas.

The company is reporting today that the flare has extinguished itself, relieving the most serious danger to workers who will now be able to get to the platform and try to plug the leak from there by pouring heavy mud down the well bore. That solution would be both quicker and cheaper than drilling relief wells to staunch the flow.

The gas condensate (liquids) leak at the well has coated the sea with a sheen over an area of about 38 square miles.