An urgent meeting went ahead today to discuss progress at the Elgin Platform.
Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead met with TOTAL managing director Phillipe Guys this morning at the company’s Aberdeen headquarters, where he was updated on progress towards resolving the continuing gas flow at the Elgin Platform.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Lochhead said: “I had a very useful meeting with TOTAL and I was reassured that the company is making significant efforts to deal with the gas leak situation – with the required manpower, expertise and equipment already in place or on its way to the North East.
“Stopping the leak is the top priority and TOTAL informed me that in the coming days efforts will begin to try and stop the flow of gas above the surface, by putting heavy mud into the well.
“Simultaneously TOTAL will also commence work on the second option, involving drilling two relief wells to stop the flow of gas before it reaches the surface.
“Monitoring has shown that the gas cloud is naturally dispersing and the very thin sheen of gas condensate on the surface of the water is also dispersing. But while impact on the environment is still minimal, it’s important we continue to gather as much information as possible as the situation continues.
Marine Research Vessel Alba na Mara left Fraserburgh at 11.30 this morning and is on route to the affected area to carry out sampling work – including water, fish and sediment – over this weekend. This data will contribute to the expert advice provided by the Environment Group, which is chaired by Marine Scotland.”
Full chemical analysis of the environmental samples collected by the Alba na Mara will be completed next week.
The Government Interest Group for the Elgin incident next meets on Tuesday, while the Environment Group, established to assess and monitor all available data on the environmental impact of the gas leak, will hold further meetings next week.