By Eddie Wrenn
PUBLISHED: 08:53 GMT, 6 April 2012 | UPDATED: 12:35 GMT, 6 April 2012
Oil rigs in the North Sea are 'falling to pieces', with oil companies taking larger risks in the pursuit of profit during the recession, a safety inspector claims.
French oil major Total is battling to stem a 12-day gas leak at its North Sea Elgin platform after a series of technical failures.
Industry sources say the incident reflects wider lapses across Britain's offshore industry, where safety checks and maintenance are regularly behind schedule.
The auditor, who was joined in his criticisms by an an engineer and a union official, said a range of measures designed to prevent a leak must have failed on Elgin, allowing gas to escape to the surface.