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Total Elgin platform gas leak

Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by elbows, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    Sounds like quite a big deal that might be hard to handle.



  2. Dan U

    Dan U Boompty

  3. Lemon Eddy

    Lemon Eddy Disliked by dwyer

  4. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist my world is fire and blood

    Hows it look for the wildlife? as bad as an oil leak?
  5. Lemon Eddy

    Lemon Eddy Disliked by dwyer

    Hard to say, there's a lot of factors. Gas condensate looks pretty much like petrol, and is similar to light crude for properties, so is nasty shit for wildlife. On the plus side though, it's not like the Macondo/Gulf of Mexico where you had heavy crude billowing in a bay with no real area to disperse. It's in a choppy part of the north sea, 150m offshore. Also, as it's not a deepwater setup, there's also a good chance they can get recovery and capture systems out there to try to reduce contamination.

    So, it could be bad, it could be awful, or it could be fucking awful.
  6. pocketscience

    pocketscience Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised this is not headlining in the news in the UK yet. By all accounts it's a major leak.

    Der Spiegel (not renowned for sensationalism) are reporting that a fix could take months and quoting the WWF as saying the sulphur alone will cause huge dead zones (is there any life in the north sea left anyway?). What's interesting in Germany's take on this, is that they only have a relativly small streatch of north sea coast (albeit mostley conservation area). Maybe it just goes to show how much more environmental aware the Germans are.

    Here's a Grauniad piece (found half way down the homepage behind the "Top Storey": Cost of stamps rise...)

    and the headline Der Spiegel article:

    The quick drop in Totals shares could lead to some interesting financial/ political implications as well, with Total being French and this happening in the middle of the election campaign/ Euro crisis... and all this happening in British waters. Compensation anyone???
    Total Disaster!

    ETA: Just looking at the Total website and noticed in the news section that coincidently, they'd just published their financial report for 2011 only yesterday on the exact same day the leak was first reported... :hmm:
  7. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

  8. pocketscience

    pocketscience Well-Known Member

    I agree. The environment's still not as sexy enough perhaps. It'll probably be swept under the carpet.
    On the plus side, I bet the Frackers are kacking it right now.
  9. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    Because it isn't oil I think the environmental concerns will only receive decent attention if it becomes clearer what the actual implications are.
  10. Quartz

    Quartz Eclectic contrarian plebeian

    And that's 150 miles, not meters.
  11. teqniq

    teqniq DisMembered

    Is this just a throwaway remark? I was on holiday in Northumbria a couple of years ago, we saw loads of seals and many species of birds at Lindisfarne and just up the coast in Scotland is a marine wildlife conservation area much visited by divers due to the unspoilt nature of the area and the diverse fauna to be seen. So when all's said and done this could have a massive impact.

    In any event I hope they get it sorted sooner rather than later....
  12. equationgirl

    equationgirl Do you believe you can walk on water?

    Given that BP have just been granted a deepwater exploration licence just off Shetland, you bet.
  13. pocketscience

    pocketscience Well-Known Member

    Sure, recyclable if you like ;)
    OK, it's not the Galapagos but, I actually love the North Sea coast.
    However, there's no hiding from the fact that it's suffered from over fishing and pollution in the recent past. I was trying to highlight that this event could return it to all time lows.
  14. teqniq

    teqniq DisMembered

    Fair enough :)
  15. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    I wonder what his number one top priority was?

  16. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    Well to be fair they did evacuate people as a priority so I won't go overboard with this, human life comes first. Having said that, leaving the flare on is worthy of a chuckle of horror.
  17. Lemon Eddy

    Lemon Eddy Disliked by dwyer

    It's nice to think of an OIM, resplendent in bright orange immersion suit, on the last chopper off, suddenly facepalming as he realises he left the gas on.
  18. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    This bloody advert got stuck in the back of my head due to the number of times I saw it at a formative age.

  19. sparkit

    sparkit Well-Known Member

    Deepwater and fracking discussions are really a distraction to the key issue about this leak though. Apparently the leak is from a well that was permanently plugged and abandoned. And there are quite a few of those about...
  20. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    I think there is more to this 'abandoned and plugged' well than many news stories have revealed. For example if the following Oil Drum article is right, this was a problematic well for ages. They plugged it a year ago but detected pressure changes recently and they were in the process of trying to kill it by pumping in heavy mud when the situation escalated.

  21. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    Total think that worst-case scenario hasn't come true and that the leak to environment is occurring at the platform rather than the sea-bed. This is briefly mentioned in the following story, along with various other reassurances from Total about the wind direct keeping the gas away from the flare, the flare burning itself out eventually, etc. Im obviously not going to take their word as gospel.

  22. sparkit

    sparkit Well-Known Member

    Both those articles seem fair. When I mentioned plugged and abandoned, I meant abandoned in the sense that they wouldn't be coming back to it, rather than wouldn't be monitoring it.

    The first article suggests that they were having problems producing from the well so gave up and decided to plug. This happens sometimes. If they then detected a pressure increase in the well through monitoring then mud would be the first response.

    If the leak is on the platform then that's less bad. It at least means that just the plug may have failed, rather than formation and we'll casing damage.

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