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France firm Total stops gas leak in Nigeria

F (© 2009 AFP)

French energy firm Total said Sunday it has stopped a natural gas leak that led to a shutdown of one of its plants in southern Nigeria.

“Total E&P Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) is pleased to report that the snubbing operation undertaken to stop the subsurface gas flow from the affected Ibewa 16 well has been successful,” the company said in a statement.

It said the snubbing operation, which started on May 9, consisted of introducing small pipes into the well to pump heavy fluids to stop the flow and set cement plugs to isolate the reservoir.

“Confirmation was received today that the flow of gas stopped. The cement seal of the well is now being finalised,” it said.

Total said the leak occurred during the drilling of a new well in southern Rivers state, forcing it to shut down the Obite gas plant on April 3.

The French company earlier said its team had been performing an analysis of air and water quality several times a week.

Total is among the major oil operators in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer. The west African country is estimated to have the world’s eighth-largest gas reserves.

Signature : LAGOS (AFP)

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