'Hellfighters' help tackle Total North Sea gas leak

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'Hellfighters' help tackle Total North Sea gas leak

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In an effort to stop the gas leak in the North Sea, Total has engaged the services of the ‘Hellfighters’ who helped deal with the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Wild Well Control, who were given the moniker by Hollywood, will be part of the team drilling two relief wells near the origin of the leak, 4,000 metres below the sea bed.

It had been hoped the leak would run itself dry as reservoir pressure dropped, but the depth is too great.

With the actual leak occurring at deck level on the Elgin platform, there is a small chance of a fire if the gas cloud is ignited accidentally by equipment or flares.

Controversy about the leak is beginning to grow after a union accused Total of ignoring a safety warning. The French energy company was allegedly told about the danger of a leak just hours before it happened.