HWCG Makes Headway in Expanding Deepwater Capabilities

The Helix Well Containment Group (HWCG) announced that it is now capable to respond to a subsea well containment incident in water depths of up to 10,000 feet.

The consortium previously announced its intention to achieve this milestone by mid-summer, and has achieved this ahead of schedule. Previously, it had capabilities to operate in water depths of up to 8,000 feet.

HWCG is a consortium of 24 deepwater operators in the Gulf of Mexico that have come together with the common goal of expanding capabilities to quickly and comprehensively respond to subsea well incidents to protect employees, communities and the environment.

"Combining ultra-deep water depth capability with a 15,000 pounds per square inch-gauge (psig) intervention capping stack, the HWCG consortium has the technology, expertise and resources of a diverse group of companies to respond immediately in the unlikely event that a deepwater well's blowout preventer fails to operate as designed," said David Coatney, HWCG's Managing Director.

Coatney was recently named HWCG Managing Director in May. He has more than 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, both in the United States and overseas. In previous roles, Coatney has served as an international upstream oil and gas asset consultant, Vice President of Production for Swift Energy and in various management and engineering capacities for Marathon Oil Company, where he worked for 29 years.

Coatney has been integrally involved in emergency preparedness and response for more than 20 years. He has acted as an Incident Commander—both domestically and abroad—and has led many successful responses in operational, natural disaster, well control and civil unrest incidents.

"Dave's combined expertise in drilling, production, offshore operations and incident response will be a strong asset to HWCG," said John Weust, HWCG's Steering Committee Chair. "I am confident he will play a significant and positive role in the ongoing operations of HWCG, in addition to enhancing the group's position in responding to the future needs of the industry."

Coatney holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from Louisiana State University. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the American Petroleum Institute and the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.


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