Total plans to send a helicopter in the next few days to ensure the Elgin platform is safe, two industry sources have said.
Total will assess the safety of the platform before an operation takes place to cap a well leaking dangerous amounts of explosive gas for the past week.
"Total is sending its own people to ensure the platform is safe in the next few days," one of the sources said.
Total aims to carry out an operation at the end of the week to stop the gas leak by injecting drilling mud on the wellhead, which would involve sending experts to the wellhead platform.
The workers union representing staff at the Elgin platform opposes plans to fly a team of crisis engineers to the platform on safety grounds, saying it is too dangerous given the amounts of gas in the vicinity.
"We think this is a highly dangerous tactic. Even a dropped hammer could ignite the gas. The whole thing would have to executed perfectly," a union official who asked not to be identified said.