Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) has enhanced industry containment capabilities with the development of an interim containment system available for use in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
The interim containment system consists of equipment owned and maintained by MWCC along with mutual aid vessels released by member companies. The system is designed to meet the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) requirements for a subsea well containment system that can respond to an underwater well control incident in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, as outlined in NTL No. 2010-N10.
In addition, MWCC has completed a plan to cap a well under a floating structure (TLP/SPAR). Capping a well in this case requires a plan to move the structure out of the way to allow access to install the capping stack or pulling the stack underneath the structure for installation. All of this activity has been defined and is pre-planned before a well is drilled from a floating structure.
MWCC members are using their know-how, resources and commitment to continually improve the system to meet future needs, especially as new technologies emerge. The expanded containment system began delivery in 2013 and is expected to be available in 2014 and will be compatible with a wide range of well designs and equipment, oil and natural gas flow rates and weather conditions.
In July 2012, at the request of the Department of the Interior (DOI) and BSEE, MWCC initiated mobilization of its containment system, including the physical deployment of the capping stack, the centerpiece of the system. The capping stack was loaded onto the LANEY CHOUEST at the Houston ship channel and deployed to a simulated well in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Once offshore, the capping stack was lowered approximately 6,900 ft. on a wire using a heave compensated landing system. It was latched onto a simulated wellhead, where all necessary functions were completed and pressure testing confirmed the ability to control a well.