MARCH 28 2012 22:29h
Total tries to contain gas leak on rig
Total said the leak, which began Sunday, led to 240 workers being removed from the Elgin platform about 150 miles east of the Scottish city of Aberdeen, CNN reported.
A union representing workers on the rig said there's an "urgent need" to stop the leak.
"If the gas cloud somehow finds an ignition source, we could be looking at complete destruction," said Jake Molloy, an official with the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.
"This is an unprecedented situation and we really are in the realms of the unknown."
But the risk may not be as great as officials had feared, oceanographer Simon Boxall told CNN.
"Initially, the risk of explosion was seen as being very high. There were reports coming through of a large gas cloud enveloping the whole rig," Boxall said.
But while the flare on the gas rig is still burning, there has been no explosion, which Boxall said "obviously contradicts the idea that there was a very high risk of explosion."
CNN said the wind appears to be blowing the gas cloud away from the flare on the rig.
"Investigations are ongoing to analyze the causes and to determine the remediation of the gas leak," Total said in a statement.
The company said no one has been injured and there has been no evidence of environmental damage.
ABERDEEN, Scotland, March 28 (UPI) -- Energy company Total said Wednesday it was attempting to contain a gas leak at a rig in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland.