A Scottish court has fined Total E&P UK £1.125m for a major gas leak from its Elgin offshore platform 150 miles east of Aberdeen in March 2012.
Sheriff Court in Aberdeen has fined the company for admitting its failure, which led to the leak.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1)(a) and (b) of the Offshore Installations and Wells Regulations 1996 and Section 33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
A sudden and uncontrolled release of gas and condensate occurred when rig workers were attempting a ‘well kill’ on 25 March 2012.
The release created a risk of fire or explosion on the platform, with all 238 personnel safely evacuated.
Total also closed the neighbouring platforms and imposed a two-mile shipping and aircraft exclusion zone around the platform.
The leak was stopped after 51 days by pumping heavy mud and cement into the well.
Total responded to a series of casing failures that occurred on the well on 25 February 2012 by beginning a well kill operation on 15 March. However, the company was not able to identify and implement proper control measures.
The company could not have control over the well until 25 March 2012.
UK’s regulator Health and Safety Executive (HSE) operations manager Russell Breen said: "There were a number of failures on the part of Total, which contributed to the blowout.
"They failed to properly calculate the weight of kill fluid required; departed from the proposed well kill plan without considering relevant contingency arrangements and relied on an untested assumption that a sudden uncontrolled release at the wellhead could not occur.
"All of these contributed to them losing control of the well and the sudden uncontrolled release of gas."