Deepwater Well Containment Tested in Gulf of Mexico

Press Release
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

U.S. Bureau of Safety & Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announce successful completion of containment exercise.

BSEE announce successful completion of the first-ever, full-scale deployment of critical well control equipment to exercise the oil and gas industry’s response to a potential subsea blowout in the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico. 

BSEE Director James A. Watson confirmed that the capping stack system passed a pressurization test according to the requirements in the scenario, marking the end of the exercise.

The unannounced deployment drill, which was undertaken at the direction of BSEE, began July 24 to test Marine Well Containment Company’s (MWCC) capping stack system, a 30-feet tall, 100-ton piece of equipment similar to the one that stopped the flow of oil from the Macondo well following the Deepwater Horizon tragedy in 2010.

Once on site, the system was lowered to a simulated well head (a pre-set parking pile) on the ocean floor in nearly 7,000 feet of water, connected to the well head, and then pressurized to 10,000 pounds per square inch.

“This first of its kind exercise reflects BSEE’s full commitment to ensuring that safety and preparedness always come first,” announced Director Watson.

BSEE engineers, inspectors and oil spill response specialists are evaluating the deployment operations and identifying lessons learned as the bureau continues efforts to improve safety and environmental protection across the offshore oil and gas industry.


 

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