Director Watson Leads Deepwater O&G Containment Exercise

MarineLink.com
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Director Jim Watson

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, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director Jim Watson launched an unannounced exercise to deploy critical pieces of state-of-the-art well control equipment to the ultra-deep seabed of the Gulf of Mexico.

The exercise employs Helix Well Containment Group’s capping stack system, equipment that is used to stop the flow of oil and gas in the event that a blowout preventer is ineffective, with Noble Energy serving as the designated operator.

Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, the Interior Department undertook the most aggressive overhaul of oil and gas safety regulations in U.S. history. Included in these reforms is the requirement that prior to receiving approval of a deepwater drilling permit, an operator must demonstrate that it has enforceable obligations that ensure that it has immediate access to surface and subsea containment resources that would be adequate to promptly respond to a blowout or other loss of well control, several components of which are being tested in the exercise initiated today.

“We fully expect operators to have the plans, equipment and capabilities in place to respond to a subsea blowout in deepwater at a moment’s notice,” Director Watson said. “These types of exercises give us an opportunity to see how the equipment is deployed in real-world conditions and to learn lessons that can be shared across the industry to protect the environment and improve the safety of offshore operations.”

During this exercise, Helix’s capping stack will be mobilized and deployed to the sea floor in 5047 feet of water, latched to a test wellhead and pressurized. The exercise is also designed to test Noble Energy’s ability to obtain and schedule the deployment of the supporting systems necessary for successful containment. The Helix capping stack is similar to the technology used to stop the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon well.

BSEE inspectors, engineers and spill response experts will be embedded in various locations throughout the exercise, including in the command center and on the vessel deploying the capping stack, to oversee the mobilization, deployment and associated tests of the system. BSEE experts will oversee the capping stack being lowered to the seafloor by wire, a technique that offers the potential to be significantly faster than the deployment via pipe that occurred during the Deepwater Horizon response.

www.bsee.gov
 

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

Environmental

US Proposes Allowing Oil, Gas Drilling off Atlantic Coast

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed allowing for the first time oil and gas exploration in a wide swath of U.S. waters off the Atlantic Coast.   The

NOIA: Draft Offshore Lease Program Both Hits and Misses

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi issued a statement on the 2017-2022 Draft Proposed OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, stating the U.

Maritime Safety

Northeast Winter Storm Disrupts Shipping

Winter Storm Juno, which has brought snow and gale force winds to the North East Coast of the United States, is causing severe disruption to shipping across the entire coastline.

Secure VGP Compliance with New Verification Service

Recent updates to the US Vessel General Permit (VGP) have brought new technical and reporting requirements for vessels operating in US waters, including the need

Oil Tankers are Front Line of Libya's Struggles

Crew members killed in tanker attack this month; West fears worsening violence could lead to civil war. Oil shippers face higher costs and the possible loss of insurance cover on Libyan voyages,

Government Update

US Proposes Allowing Oil, Gas Drilling off Atlantic Coast

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed allowing for the first time oil and gas exploration in a wide swath of U.S. waters off the Atlantic Coast.   The

NOIA: Draft Offshore Lease Program Both Hits and Misses

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi issued a statement on the 2017-2022 Draft Proposed OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, stating the U.

Greek Government to Halt Piraeus Port Sale

The new Greek government led by the left-wing Syriza party will halt the sale of a majority stake in the port of Piraeus, Greece's biggest, begun by the previous government,

Offshore Energy

US Proposes Allowing Oil, Gas Drilling off Atlantic Coast

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed allowing for the first time oil and gas exploration in a wide swath of U.S. waters off the Atlantic Coast.   The

NOIA: Draft Offshore Lease Program Both Hits and Misses

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi issued a statement on the 2017-2022 Draft Proposed OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, stating the U.

World's Largest Ship Sparks Outrage

Jewish groups in the Netherlands and Britain have reacted with rage and despair at the arrival in Rotterdam of the world's biggest ship, the Pieter Schelte, named

 
 
Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1498 sec (7 req/sec)