This video is called Animation of Total’s gas leak in North Sea.
By Robert Stevens:
North Sea gas leak threatens environmental disaster
29 March 2012
The gas leak at the Total oil conglomerate Elgin platform in the North Sea threatens an environmental disaster.
The platform is around 150 miles off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland. The leak was first detected at 12.15 p.m. on Sunday, after which Total evacuated all 238 workers. Although not classified as a deepwater well, the Elgin drilling rig is still very deep with gas being extracted at a depth of 6,000 meters, nearly four miles into the sea bed.
A flare is still alight on the main platform.
David Hainsworth, the health, safety and environment manager for Total E&P UK, speculated that the leak could have occurred as the result of Total engineers pumping in mud to piping on a gas reservoir that had been plugged about a year ago. He said, “We believe the leak is coming out of the outer casing of the well.”
Although the leak was discovered on Sunday afternoon, it wasn’t until 11 a.m. on Monday that an exclusion zone around the rig was set up. Ships are excluded within two miles of the site and aircraft no nearer than three miles if they fly lower than 4,000 feet. This affects helicopters but not commercial aircraft.
On Monday, surveillance flights were sent to investigate a large sheen in the water surrounding the platform, a massive cloud of between 2 and 26 tonnes of underwater gas condensate, around 6 nautical miles in length.
Following the leak, another oil giant, Shell, evacuated 120 oil workers from a nearby rig citing the danger of drifting gas. It moved nonessential staff from its Shearwater platform and Hans Deul drilling rig as a “precautionary measure”. This still leaves more than 100 workers at the Shell facility.
North Sea Gas Leak: Experts Assess Climate Impact of Ongoing Accident. Elizabeth Grossman, InsideClimate News: “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 … 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. The gas is mostly methane, which is considered the second largest contributor to human-caused global warming after carbon dioxide”: here.