FAQ

  • MWCC is an independent company that provides well containment equipment and technology in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. As the leader in deepwater well containment in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the company is committed to being continuously ready to respond to a deepwater well control incident in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and is committed to advancing its capabilities to keep pace with its members’ needs.

    MWCC’s Containment System can cap or cap and flow a deepwater well control incident at water depths up to 10,000 feet. The system includes two Modular Capture Vessels (MCVs), which can each capture up to 50,000 barrels of liquid per day, three capping stacks, enhanced subsea equipment and additional ancillary equipment.

  • In designing MWCC’s Containment System, MWCC worked with regulators from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure all expectations were met. The Containment System not only safeguards the U.S. Gulf of Mexico but allows new permits to be issued. MWCC continues to stay in regular communication with BSEE and the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • MWCC performs regular, comprehensive maintenance and testing of its equipment to ensure the Containment System is in an operable state when deployed in an incident response.

    In 2012, MWCC worked closely with the Department of the Interior (DOI) and BSEE to complete a demonstration of its Interim Containment System (ICS) in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The demonstration included a physical deployment of the 15k psi Capping Stack (single ram) and validated that MWCC has a system in place that is ready to respond.

    In 2014, MWCC conducted extensive testing of its Containment System, including two System Integration Tests (SIT) with the Eagle Texas and Eagle Louisiana to verify overall system functionality of the vessels and topside processing equipment. The SITs effectively validated the ability of the vessels, topside processing equipment and response personnel to safely and effectively respond to a well control incident. In addition, MWCC successfully conducted two-week sea trials with each of the MCVs, in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard, to test the speed, maneuverability, equipment and safety features of the vessels.

    MWCC maintains a constant state of readiness with thorough training of its workforce and response personnel, and a robust maintenance and storage process for its equipment.

  • In the event of a well containment incident in the Gulf of Mexico, MWCC works with the responsible party (RP) in the deployment of the Containment System, which will be mobilized from MWCC’s two shore bases. MWCC will plan for and supervise the mobilization, installation and operation of its equipment on behalf of the RP.
  • A coordinated response to a well incident and the specific deployment process and timing of the Containment System will depend on several factors, including a site assessment, debris removal, unique characteristics of the incident, equipment and vessel requirements, weather conditions at sea and travel time.

    Before equipment from MWCC’s Containment System can be deployed, the Responsible Party must conduct an initial site assessment to determine a safe working environment for response operations and personnel. Part of the site assessment includes the removal (if possible) of debris that may hinder the safe installation of response equipment.

    MWCC and the RP work closely to determine specific equipment and configuration needed at the well incident site.

  • MWCC is the leader in deepwater well containment in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and its Containment System has been designed specifically to meet the needs of member companies operating there.

    At this time, the company is committed to being continuously ready to respond within its current operational geography and does not have plans to expand its scope beyond the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Should that change, MWCC will work with the appropriate parties and its membership to effectively and safely expand its operations while still maintaining its readiness to respond to an incident.

  • MWCC maintains its Containment System and its response personnel in a constant state of readiness. MWCC conducts regular trainings and drills independently of and in conjunction with member companies as well as with its partners, including Technip USA, Kiewit Offshore Services, Core Industries and other leading oil and gas service providers.

    In addition, MWCC works with WoodGroup PSN to maintain a Reservist Response Team comprised of experienced and trained personnel to operate the Containment System in the event of an incident. At all times, the Reservist Response Team is on-call and ready to be deployed and receives regular, comprehensive preparedness training consisting of classroom and hands-on equipment familiarization as well as scenario-based operation and emergency exercises at the MCV Shore Base.

  • MWCC’s Containment System consists of equipment owned and maintained by MWCC along with mutual aid vessels and equipment released by member companies. MWCC regularly tests this equipment and practices the ability to effectively execute a safe deployment.
  • MWCC’s equipment is stored at vendor facilities in Theodore, Alabama (near Mobile) and Ingleside, Texas (near Corpus Christi). Read more about MWCC’s shore base locations here.
  • The company is committed to continuously enhancing containment capabilities and works with member companies to bring the best thinking to its systems. Ongoing training and drills not only help in preparation, but each drill has provided new learnings to build on. MWCC is committed to ongoing training and utilization of the most advanced technologies.
  • MWCC’s Interim Containment System (ICS) was made available in 2011 and met the needs of all member company wells being drilled in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico at the time. As member needs evolved, MWCC enhanced the system to stay ahead of member needs with the Expanded Containment System (ECS), which builds on the capabilities put into place with the ICS.

    MWCC’s Containment System combines equipment from the ICS and ECS, including enhanced Subsea Umbilical, Risers and Flowlines (SURF) equipment; two Modular Capture Vessels (MCVs); and three capping stacks – the Subsea Containment Assembly (SCA), 15k psi Capping Stack and the 10k psi Capping Stack. The system is able to cap and flow wells in up to 10,000 feet – as compared to 8,000 feet previously – and is able to contain up to 100,000 barrels of liquid per day.

  • MWCC has 10 member companies: Anadarko, Apache, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Hess and Shell. All of MWCC’s member companies have a long and active history of drilling in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Membership remains open to all deepwater operators in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
  • The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) requires all operators in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to cite a containment system in their applications for drilling permits. To meet that requirement, members and contracted non-members can cite MWCC’s Containment System on drilling permits after a thorough review of the company’s well plans has been conducted to ensure MWCC’s equipment could be used if needed.
  • Non-members can enter into agreements on a per well basis to cite MWCC’s system in their permit application. MWCC charges a per well fee to support maintenance and ongoing enhancements to the system, training and response support in the event of an incident.