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Exclusion zone around gas leak rig
A two-mile exclusion zone has been set up around an offshore platform which has been evacuated after a gas leak.
The leak on Total's Elgin PUQ platform, about 150 miles off the coast of Aberdeen, led to the evacuation of all 238 workers on Sunday.
Shell on Monday reduced its workforce on two offshore installations close to the Elgin platform. Around 85 staff have been taken off the company's Shearwater platform and the nearby Noble Hans Deul drilling rig, leaving a workforce of 117 people.
Aberdeen Coastguard said an exclusion zone of two nautical miles (2.3 miles) around Elgin has been set up, with ships and aircraft ordered to stay away from the area.
Total E&P UK (TEP UK), which operates the platform, said it is taking "all possible measures" to try to identify the source and cause of the leak and to bring it under control. It has been confirmed that there is a sheen on the water near the platform.
David Hainsworth, health, safety and environment manager for Total, told the BBC there are risks around the situation.
He said: "The gas is flammable but the platform power was turned off to minimise risk of ignition, but clearly there is a risk. We have taken away a series of risks but there is always a possibility, it's low, but you never say never.
"The best-case scenario is that the gas in this area is not very productive and it dies off in the coming days and weeks.
"At the moment there is no real evolution of the sheen on the sea but if that was to change - and it's monitored on a daily basis - then the exclusion zone may be increased, but at the moment it will probably stay the same."
On Monday, Oil Spill Response carried out two aerial surveillance flights to assess the situation and two further flights are planned for Tuesday. The Shell platform is around four nautical miles (4.6 miles) from the Elgin platform. Shell said drilling operations on the Noble Hans Deul rig have been suspended.