Total is still evaluating solutions to solve a gas leak on a North Sea platform, a company spokesman said on Thursday, adding the French oil group had sent fire-fighting boats near the zone in case of an explosion.

A flare is still burning less than 100 metres from where explosive natural gas is leaking. The company says the flare is necessary to purge any gas left in the platform, and that it should extinguish naturally in the next few days.

We are still evaluating solutions, the spokesman said, adding it was a question of days before decisions were made. We sent fire-fighting boats outside the security zone, he added.

(Reporting By Muriel Boselli; Editing by Alison Birrane)