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Total field to restart operation by 2015

By Bolaji Ajala with agency report

French oil giant is expected to get a go-ahead in the next few days to commence operation in 2015 at its Elgin-Franklin gas field in the North Sea after last year leak.

The field which contributes around 9 per cent of the UK’s oil and gas production before the shut down missed production targets in 2012.

The timing of its restart has particular importance as the country’s economy teeters on the brink of its third recession in five years.

Total’s Vice President for Northern Europe, Patrice de Vivies, who disclosed this in a statement also noted that the leak occurred when the bromide used in the completion fluid in the well reacted with grease.

He added that the grease was used on the threads thereby causing corrosion on the pipe and allowing gas from the reservoir to seep up.

In his words “It was a unique type of corrosion not linked to aging. We haven’t changed procedures elsewhere because it was unique to Elgin.”

Production was halted last March when Total, which operates the Elgin and Franklin fields, detected a major gas leak and evacuated personnel from the platform.

The leak was stopped and the company has since been working to restore output, which is crucial for Total’s production targets.

Vivies however said output at Elgin, which is gas and condensate, is expected to reach around 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by the end of 2013 and to return to the pre-shutdown level of 140,000 barrels per day by 2015,

He concluded that Total is awaiting final approval to restart from the U.K.’s Health and Safety Executive.



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