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Total Hopes to Stop Nigeria Gas Leak in Few Days

Source: Reuters 5/11/2012, Location: Africa

Total said it could stop a gas leak discovered on April 3 in Nigeria's southern Niger Delta in a few days if its plan to pump heavy fluid into the well to stop the flow was successful. The leak occurred on a block that also contains crude oil in Rivers state, one of the three states that make up the Niger Delta, a vast oil-rich wetlands region in the southeast.

"Total E&P Nigeria Limited's (TEPNG) teams have reported significant progress in the efforts to ensure that the incident is brought under control and to stop the subsurface gas flow from the affected well," a company statement said.

"The snubbing intervention started on May 9 and if successful could stop the gas flow in the next few days."

A snubbing operation consists of introducing small pipes into the well to pump heavy fluid to stop the flow. Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer and holds the world's seventh-largest gas reserves. Its light oil is popular with U.S. and Asian buyers, but it remains a small player in the gas business.

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