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Total CEO: Everything Ready To Start Elgin Well-kill Operation

PARIS -(Dow Jones)- Total SA (TOT) Friday said it has everything ready to "kill" a leaking gas well in the North Sea.

"We could carry out the operation as early as today but it is a question of days because the weather isn't favorable," Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive, said during the company's shareholders meeting.

Since the gas leak was detected March 25, forcing the powering down of the Elgin platform, the leakage rate has decreased to 0.5 kilograms a second from 2 kg/second in the first days, Total said on the basis of observations made during several over-flights conducted by Oil Spill Response Ltd.

Simultaneously, Total is preparing the drilling of two relief wells in case the operation to definitively seal the leaking well wasn't successful. Drilling of the first back-up relief well is "still progressing as per plan," the group said.

-By Inti Landauro, Dow Jones Newswires; +33 1 4017 1740;

(Geraldine Amiel contributed to this article.)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 11, 2012 06:05 ET (10:05 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.



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