Consortium Unveils Prelim Well Containment System

The Marine Well Containment Company announced the completion and availability of an initial well containment response system that will provide rapid containment response capabilities in the event of a potential future underwater well control incident in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

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.

ExxonMobil, in partnership with Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell, continues to lead the development of additional system components to expand the initial system's capabilities, with completion of the expanded system set for 2012.

"The Marine Well Containment Company has successfully developed a solution for rapid well containment response," said Marty Massey, chief executive officer. "This milestone fulfills a commitment set forth by the four sponsor companies to deliver a rapid containment response capability within the first six months of launching the marine well containment project."

The interim system can operate in water depths up to 8,000 feet and has storage and processing capacity for up to 60,000 barrels per day of liquids. The capping stack has a maximum operating pressure of 15,000 pounds per square inch. The equipment is located on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Membership in the Marine Well Containment Company is open to all companies operating in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Members will have access to the initial well containment response system, as well as the expanded system upon completion of its construction. Non-members will also have access to the systems through a service agreement and fee.

About the Marine Well Containment Company

The Marine Well Containment Company is a not-for-profit, independent organization committed to improving capabilities for containing a potential underwater well control incident in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Membership is open to all oil and gas operators in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The company is part of multiple industry efforts to improve prevention, well intervention and spill response.

About the Marine Well Containment System

The marine well containment system is an advanced, rapid-response system that will significantly exceed current U.S. Gulf of Mexico response capabilities. ExxonMobil is leading the construction of this billion-dollar system in partnership with Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell. The Marine Well Containment Company will own, operate, deploy and maintain the system.

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