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Statoil investigating North Sea gas leak

Re leak at its Heimdal platform in the North Sea Norwegian energy company Statoil said it launched an internal investigation following a natural gas leak at its Heimdal platform in the North Sea.Statoil said a natural gas leak occurred at the North Sea platform last weekend during testing of emergency shutdown valves."Due to shut down for maintenance on parts of the Heimdal installation the installation was not on stream," the company explained. "However, there were still pressurized systems in areas not included in the turnaround."The 98 rig workers on the platform were evacuated but returned during the week. There were no injuries reported.The incident is under investigation in coordination with the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway.Statoil in March deployed emergency workers down a utility shaft to investigate a leak of the toxic gas hydrogen sulfide at its Statfjord C platform.Four years ago, around 22,000 barrels of oil spilled from Statfjord while a tanker was loading cargo from a storage buoy. That incident was the second-worst oil spill in Norwegian history.Source: UPI.com

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How much impact did the North Sea gas leak have on the environment?

Greenhouse gas emissions and hydrocarbon contamination lower than expected While the Elgin North Sea natural gas leak that was plugged on Wednesday was a massive financial blow for its operator Total, it appears the incident had little impact on the environment in terms of global warming and local marine life.The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) says it estimates that during the 52-day leak, Elgin released the equivalent of 47,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, or 18,000 tonnes more than would have been released during normal operations of the well.The greenhouse gas impact was mitigated when Total was able to slow the leak of natural gas from 200,000 cubic metres a day at its start to around a third of that in mid April, and then down to 50,000 cubic metres by the time the well was stopped with heavy mud on 15 May.A Decc spokesman said:"The provisional total UK emissions of the basket of six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto protocol, including the offshore sector, during 2011 was 549.3m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or approximately 45.8m tonnes per month.""The Elgin release therefore represents approximately 0.1% of the UK's monthly emissions total. Only considering the increase in emissions ...

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Total stops North Sea gas leak

Work to stop leak on Elgin platform, which involved pumping heavy mud into well, has been a success The near two month crisis around a gas well on the Elgin field in the North Sea appeared to have been averted on Wednesday with French operator, Total, saying it had succeeded in plugging the leak.Shares in the company rose more than 2% on the announcement that no more methane was being released into the environment and the company can soon put a halt to its relief operations which have been costing it $3m a day."A major turning point has been achieved," said Yves-Louis Darricarrere, Total's head of exploration and production, but the company said it was too soon to say when gas and condensate production could resume.The Elgin platform used to pump about 3% of Britain's total gas output from nearly four miles below the seabed, and the incident comes on top of production problems elsewhere.Safety issues in Yemen and a gas leak in Nigeria have been putting a brake on the company's target of increasing its global output by 2.5% through to 2015.The oil world is very nervous of offshore incidents after BP's Macondo oil well spill in the Gulf ...

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Total gas leak operation begins at Elgin North Sea platform

The energy company has started pumping mud into the well in an attempt to stop the leak The oil company Total started pumping heavy mud down its leaking well in the North Sea on Tuesday in an attempt to stop an escape of gas that has lasted nearly eight weeks and could deprive Britain of nearly 6% of its supply this summer."The well intervention operation got underway at 8:20am with the pumping of heavy mud into the well from the main support vessel," the oil and gas major said in a statement.The work, at the Elgin platform, 240 km off the coast of Scotland, is expected to last several days before engineers can determine whether the leak has been stopped, Total said.The leak is costing the company around 1.8m a day in relief operations and lost net income.The Department of Energy and Climate Change, which gave the go-ahead for the "well kill" work earlier this month, said it was monitoring the situation closely.The company said last week the amount of gas leaking from the platform had shrunk to a quarter of the original quantity and that parallel work to drill a relief well continued.In the meanwhile, a nearby gas field ...

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Total’s Elgin Platform Gas Leak Suffers Unfavorable Comparisons To BP

Total reassure public that damage from its gas leak will be limited soon Oil giant Total has moved to reassure investors and environmental activists over the past week that the financial and environmental damage from its gas leak in the North Sea would be limited, a task made more difficult by comparisons to BP's handling of a catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico nearly two years ago.Initial data showed that the leak from Total's platform in the Elgin gas field 150 miles (250 kilometers) off the coast of Scotland - which was first detected March 25 - was pouring out about 7 million cubic feet (200,000 cubic meters) of natural gas each day. On Friday, the company said the rate of the leak appeared to have slowed but had no new figure.In a conference call to analysts and reporters last week, Total Chief Financial Officer Patrick de La Chevardiere appealed to those listening to avoid comparisons between the Elgin leak and the Gulf spill at BP's Macondo well."While we understand that comparisons to Macondo are inevitable, we would like to state clearly that the situations are very different," he said. "There is no crude oil involved here and ...

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North Sea Gas Leak: Experts Assess Climate Impact of Ongoing Accident

Total estimates that it may take six months to stop the leak The French energy company Total estimates that its North Sea Elgin field gas well is leaking about 200,000 cubic meters of natural gas per day, enough, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, to supply more than 100 average homes with natural gas for an entire year. Total estimates that it may take six months to stop the leak.If the gas continues escaping at that rate, and all of it reaches the atmosphere, it would approximate the annual global warming impact of 35,000 Americans, says Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Global Ecology director, Christopher Field.At a news conference on Monday, Total's chief financial officer, Patrick de la Chevardiere, said that because the leak involves natural gas, which disperses into the atmosphere very quickly, and not crude oil, "the current impact on and risks for the environment are relatively low." But climate scientists and biologists say the leak's impact shouldn't be dismissed just because it isn't creating a beach- and wildlife-fouling oil slick.The leak, detected March 25th, is at the wellhead platform of Total's G4 well, located approximately 150 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland. The gas is mostly ...

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