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Total: North Sea Gas Leak Stopped

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The Wednesday, March 28, 2012 aerial shot provided by Greenpeace shows Total's Elgin Wellhead Platform in the North Sea off the shore of Scotland. | AP File

LONDON (AP) — French energy company Total says a gas leak on a North Sea platform has been stopped after a 12-hour operation to pump heavy mud into a well.

Yves-Louis Darricarrere, Total's president of exploration and production, said Wednesday in a statement that "a major turning point has been achieved."

A total of 238 staff were evacuated from the platform, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) off the Scottish coast, in March after the leak was detected.

In the early stages of the leak, the platform was pouring out about 7 million cubic feet (200,000 cubic meters) of natural gas each day.

Total said a so-called "kill" operation had been carried out, which involved pumping heavy mud into a well to seal the leak.

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