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Image courtesy of Ken Taylor Photography/ TOTAL E&P UK Limited.

France’s Total is responding to a well-control incident that occurred on Friday in the UK North Sea.

According to the Scotland Herald, Total has restricted access to its Elgin B platform after workers discovered an unexpected gas flow during drilling operations under the seabed surface.

A Total spokesperson told the Scotland Herald that it “encountered difficulties” while drilling a well at its Central Graben area.

Total told the BBC that there were unexpected flows encountered about 13,123 feet below the seabed.

The company told the Scotland Herald that the well remains “under full control at the surface” and that its continuously reviewing the situation.
Total told the Guardian on Friday that wireline measurements taken from inside the drill string show that “some flow” is present in the well.
The company added that part of the well may need to be plugged and abandoned.
According to the Guardian, access to the wellhead platform is restricted to staff involved with drilling the well.
Wells from the Elgin B platform have been shut down, the Guardian said.
STV News said that the UK The Health and Safety Executive has been notified of the incident.5

Total was fined $1.67 million in December 2015 for technical failures that caused a gas leak at the Elgin platform.

Total admitted that its its failure to meet some offshore installation regulations caused a March 2012 leak at its Elgin platform, according to the BBC.

Production at the area was halted in 2012 following the leak.

The leak lasted 51 days and was one of the largest gas leaks to ever occur in the North Sea.

A number of wells were permanently abandoned at the area as of a result of the leak, according to information provided by Total.

Production at the Elgin/Franklin area was restarted in March 2013 following the approval of the UK Health and Safety Executive.