Four large oil companies announce new spill containment system

In the aftermath of the BP Gulf spill which happened last April, four oil industry giants today unveiled a new system for containing future spills in the Gulf.

Last July ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron and Conoco/Phillips promised and has since pooled $1 billion in assets to form a new company called The Marine Well Containment Company which will be available for any company in its pool in the event of an emergency in the Gulf of Mexico. BP has now also joined the group.

The marine well containment system is an advanced, rapid-response system that will significantly exceed current U.S. Gulf of Mexico response capabilities.

Below is their press release:

Marine Well Containment Company Launches Interim Containment System

Of key note is:

The initial response system includes a subsea capping stack with the ability to shut in oil flow or to flow the oil via flexible pipes and risers to surface vessels . The system also includes subsea dispersant injection equipment, manifolds and, through mutual aid among members, capture vessels to provide surface processing and storage. The company has consulted with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) to ensure the system is designed to meet the government’s requirements as outlined in NTL No. 2010-N10.

The new company has had months to perfect the new system said Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers. Houston will be the base for the equipment which can be dispatched and sent to the spill location within 24 hours notice. This new system can respond to spills up to 8,000 ft. in depth [ABC says 10,000 ft, but the document above says 8,000 ft.] and will be able to process up to 60,000 barrels of liquid per day.

Any member company will have access to the equipment, those who are not members will need to have a service agreement and will be charged a fee. The management team was also announced today:

  • Marty Massey as chief executive officer. Formerly U.S. joint interest manager for ExxonMobil Production Company, Massey will lead the management team and operations of the Marine Well Containment Company, with headquarters in Houston.
  • Dan Smallwood, formerly operations manager of Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana for ConocoPhillips, has been named chief operating officer for the company.
  • Astley Blair, formerly division finance officer for Chevron Global Supply and Trading, has been appointed as chief financial officer.
  • Charles Miller, formerly vice president production, Shell Brazil Ltda., has been named chief technology officer.
  • Carmine Dulisse, formerly security and emergency preparedness and response manager, ExxonMobil Development Company, has been named health, safety, and environment officer.

One large company, BP slipped through the cracks. The Industry has been ‘responsible’ by responding to one company’s misguided safety culture with the most expensive well capping system on earth. Now, it is the regulator’s turn to be responsible and put the thousands waiting idly in the Gulf back to work.

More information can be found at Marine Well Containment.

Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks