Houston Chronicle

Total has hired Houston-based Wild Well Control to stop a natural gas leak at Total's Elgin platform in the North Sea.

Total spokesman Frederic Texier said Wild Well Control will conduct an operation called a top kill in an effort to plug a natural gas well 150 miles from Aberdeen, Scotland, that is leaking 7 million cubic feet a day of highly explosive natural gas.

The well is in 1,700 feet of water, but the leak is from equipment on the surface.

The top kill involves pumping a mudlike substance into the well to push the gas back toward the reservoir, then capping the well.

Wild Well Control developed a subsea well containment system that includes flying equipment and personnel to oil spills after BP's well blew out in the Gulf in 2010. Wild Well Control participated in the effort to control that well, including firefighting, oil dispersal and well containment.

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