Salazar Directs Deepwater Oil & Gas Containment Exercise

Thursday, May 24, 2012

MWCC to Deploy Capping Stack for Exercise in the Gulf.
As part of the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the oil and gas industry’s ability to respond in the event of a deepwater blowout and ensure that offshore oil and gas production can continue to expand safely and responsibly, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today charged the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) with conducting a live drill this summer to deploy critical pieces of state-of-the-art well control equipment in the Gulf of Mexico.


The exercise would demonstrate the ability of MWCC to mobilize a capping stack – a device similar to the one that stopped the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon’s well – in a timely fashion from its on-shore base to the deep water seabed of the Gulf.


This first-of-its-kind exercise will be overseen by Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which tests capping stacks on the surface as part of its overall responsibility to enforce the tougher offshore safety requirements implemented in response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. 

“In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, we undertook the most aggressive and comprehensive reforms to offshore oil and gas oversight in U.S. history, including requiring the industry to have immediate access to equipment and technologies that could stop another blowout,” said Salazar. “Our safety reforms are designed to reduce the chances that a capping stack would ever be needed again, but one thing Deepwater Horizon taught us is that you must always be ready to respond to the worst case scenario. This exercise is an opportunity to deploy systems, test readiness, and train under real-time conditions.”


“BSEE has made great strides in developing an effective and strong regulatory framework to support the offshore oil and gas program,” BSEE Director James Watson said. “We have tested MWCC and capping stacks repeatedly, but putting them through their paces in the deep waters of the Gulf will give us added confidence that they will be ready to go if needed.”


MWCC is one of two consortia that provide contract access to well containment equipment to oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico. This equipment is required by BSEE for drilling with subsea blowout preventers in deepwater, among other situations. The other consortium, the Helix Well Containment Group, will complete a similar deployment exercise in the future.


The demonstration will involve the field deployment and testing of a capping stack as part of a larger scenario that will also test an operator’s ability to obtain and schedule the deployment of the supporting systems necessary for successful containment – including debris removal equipment and oil collection devices, such as top hats. The capping stack will be lowered to the seabed by wire, a technique that offers the potential to be significantly faster than the deployment via pipe that occurred during the Deepwater Horizon response.


As part of the exercise, BSEE will also analyze the results from tests conducted on the sea floor. In October 2010, Secretary Salazar required that prior to receiving approval of a deepwater drilling permit, an operator must demonstrate that it has enforceable obligations that ensure that containment resources are available promptly in the event of a deepwater blowout.

Maritime Today

The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter November 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


Ship Conversion: Offshore Survey Vessel to Become a Flotel

Dutch shipowner C-Bed has contracted Wärtsilä Ship Design to supply the design for rebuilding its Seismic Survey Vessel, the Viking II, for use as a hotel vessel

Deepwater Downturn: Bump in the Road or Long-Term Slowing of Growth?

IMA/World Energy Reports has just completed a comprehensiveassessment of the five year outlook for the deepwater sector.  The new report – the 19th annual floater

Tidal Energy from Deep and Slow Waters

Deep Green, an underwater kite construction from the Swedish company Minesto, is set to be deployed in 2017 at the Holyhead Deep site off the coast of Anglesey, Wales.


BWM Convention Doesn't Resolve U.S. Issues - ICS

ICS notes that the IMO Secretary General has announced that the Ballast Water Management Convention will enter into force worldwide from 24 November 2016, following

Ballast Water Management in the Field Put to the Test

Turner Designs, along with scientists from around the world participated in a research cruise aboard the RV Meteor, a vessel owned by the Federal Republic of Germany

Out of the Eye ... & Staying There

I have never been in a hurricane. That’s a fact. Actually, my wife likes to say that whenever there is any kind of natural disaster, I’m typically nowhere to be found.


Asia Fuel Oil-Cracks, Spreads Tight; Bunker Prices Climb

Asia's fuel oil crack for benchmark 180-centistroke rebounded to a discount of $6.79 a barrel on Wednesday, gaining as bunker prices firmed on the possibility of

Swan Energy to Invest $845 mln for FSRU Terminal

Swan Energy Limited will invest around Rs. 5,600 crore ($845 mln) towards setting up of Jafrabad LNG Port project in Gujarat with one jetty-moored Floating, Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU).

Tidal Energy from Deep and Slow Waters

Deep Green, an underwater kite construction from the Swedish company Minesto, is set to be deployed in 2017 at the Holyhead Deep site off the coast of Anglesey, Wales.

Maritime Safety

IMMA App Offers Access to Maritime Medical Stores

Deteriorating seafarer health and poorly-stocked onboard medical chests are major issues concerning maritime medical practitioners, which is why the International

R-22 Phase-out Presents Dangers and Expense -WSS

The shipping industry is facing price, supply and safety risks in the run-up to the global ban on R-22 (chlorodifluoromethane or HCFC) refrigerant, warns Wilhelmsen Ships Service,

U.S. Ups Philippines Aid as South China Sea Turmoil Builds

The United States has raised its military aid to the Philippines this year to $79 million, the U.S. ambassador said on Wednesday, as tension rises in the region

Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0893 sec (11 req/sec)