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Market News

 March 28, 2012
Natural Gas Cloud Continues Leaking From North Sea Rig, Forcing Evacuation

 North Sea gas cloud forces evacuations

A cloud of explosive natural gas boiling out of the North Sea off the coast of Scotland has forced the evacuation of a second rig and forced coastguards to set up an exclusion zone to ward off ships and aircraft.

French oil firm Total said the leak was the most serious problem it had faced in the North Sea in a decade of drilling, adding that it was taking "all possible measures" to try to identify the source and cause of the leak and to bring it under control.

"It's not going to be solved straightforwardly -- it will take at least a few days," a Total spokesman said, adding that experts were being flown in from around the world to help stop the leak.