French oil firm Total SA said Saturday that a natural gas leak at one of its plants in Nigeria's crude-rich southern delta may have been going on for weeks.
The leak at its Obite natural gas site has forced the company to evacuate those nearby and led to daily monitoring of air and water surrounding the plant in Nigeria's Rivers state. However, Total's Nigerian subsidiary hasn't made any public statement about the leak since it likely began following an incident March 20, though the company has given near-daily updates about a similar leak at a plant off the United Kingdom in the North Sea.
The Wall Street Journal reports that just as it appeared the market was beginning to absorb the Iranian oil drop, the gas leak from a Total rig in the North Sea has led to jitters that could rein in output from Europe's largest oil patch.
Oil giant Total has moved to reassure investors and environmental activists over the past week that the financial and environmental damage from its gas leak in the North Sea would be limited, a task made more difficult by comparisons to BP's handling of a catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico nearly two years ago.
Initial data showed that the leak from Total's platform in the Elgin gas field 150 miles (250 kilometers) off the coast of Scotland — which was first detected March 25 — was pouring out about 7 million cubic feet (200,000 cubic meters) of natural gas each day. On Friday, the company said the rate of the leak appeared to have slowed but had no new figure.
The North Sea natural gas leak from offshore operations of energy giant Total is costing the company $2.5 million a day in lost production and efforts to fight the leak, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., pledged to push a vote to complete the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility in Nevada if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., moves to limit filibusters, Roll Call reports.