The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in UK has given its clearance to France-based major oil group Total to restart its Elgin gas field in North Sea, which was closed in March 2012 following a major gas leak.
The HSE said that it has accepted the revised safety case, which was submitted by Total and has allowed the oil company to restart production at one of the world’s deepest and most highly pressurised wells.
In a press statement, HSE said, "The company undertook to demonstrate that it had re-evaluated the risks associated with operating the installation by resubmitting the safety case required by HSE to permit production."
A Total spokeswoman was quoted by Reuters as saying that subsequent to HSE’s decision, the company would restart operations at Elgin as early as possible.
In January, Total’s chief executive had said that the field cannot start full production for several months or even years, as the company needs to redesign the installation.
The news agency said that about 3% of Britain’s total gas output is produced from Elgin gas field, and its shutdown affected UK’s stagnating economy.
In 2012, fall in oil and gas production in the country, pulled back growth by 0.2% points of gross domestic product.
Located 240km off the coast of eastern Scotland, Elgin gas field spewed gas for over seven weeks in 2012, after pipework weakened by corrosion exploded due to unusually high pressure.