MWCC's First Non-Member Gets Permit Approval

Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) announced that Petrobras America Inc. (PAI) is the first non-member to have cited MWCC's system to receive an approved drilling permit.

PAI contracts with MWCC for the right to cite the MWCC system in its permit application to the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement for a deepwater well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The agency approved the PAI application on September 2 to drill a development well at its Cascade field approximately 180 miles south of the Louisiana coast in water depth of 8,200 feet.

"MWCC is a not-for-profit, independent organization available to all deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico operators," said Chief Executive Officer Marty Massey. "Even if an operator is not a member of MWCC, our system can be made available on a well by well basis and cited in respective applications for permits to drill."

The MWCC member companies include Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Apache, Anadarko, BHP Billiton, Statoil and Hess. These 10 companies operated approximately 70 percent of deepwater wells drilled in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico between 2007 through 2009.

All MWCC members have equal ownership, with each paying a proportional share of the system development and operating costs. System equipment and services are available to members and can be made available to non-members for use in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

An expanded containment system is on track for delivery in 2012. In addition to operating in water depths up to 10,000 feet, the system will have the capacity to capture up to 100,000 barrels of fluid and handle up to 200 million cubic feet of gas per day.


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