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French operator Total has confirmed that after five days of close monitoring it has successfully stopped the gas leak on its Elgin complex in the U.K. North Sea.
A relief well was drilled by the semisubmersible drilling rig West Phoenix on the leaking G4 well, which is 240 km from Aberdeen in the U.K. North Sea. To regain control of the well, heavy mud was pumped into the G4 well beginning on May 15 at 9.20 a.m. (local time), with the leak stopped 12 hours later.
Since then, several inspection visits to the wellhead platform have confirmed that the leak has completely stopped, said Total.
Following the success of the well intervention, the next phase will be to re-man the Elgin complex and restart the Rowan Viking drilling rig in order to set cement plugs in the G4 well. This phase, aiming at completing the plugging and permanent abandonment procedure of the G4 well, will take several weeks, it added.
Once the first cement plug is set in the G4 well by the Rowan Viking, the drilling of the ongoing relief well with the Sedco 714 will be stopped. In consultation with the appropriate authorities, it has been decided that drilling a second relief well by the Rowan Gorilla V is no longer necessary and has therefore been cancelled.