September 21, 2010
BP to join well containment initiative: makes equipment available
BP yesterday announced its intent to join the proposed Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) and to make its underwater well containment equipment available to all oil and gas companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico.
Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell announced the $1 billion containment initiative in July.
This and other equipment will preserve existing capability for use by the offshore oil and gas industry in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico while Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell build a system that exceeds current response capabilities. Under the terms of an agreement with the Marine Well Containment System operator ExxonMobil, the sponsor companies' project team will utilize full time BP technical personnel with experience from the Deepwater Horizon response.
"We are pleased to announce our plans to join the Marine Well Containment Company and provide the experience and specialized equipment needed to respond to a deepwater well control incident," said Richard Morrison, BP vice president for Gulf of Mexico operations. "We believe the addition of our recently gained deepwater intervention experience and specialized equipment will be important to the marine well containment system."
ExxonMobil, on behalf of the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC), said the BP equipment could be deployed to capture and contain oil from a potential underwater well blowout while the new rapid-response system announced in July is being developed. ExxonMobil is leading the engineering, procurement and construction of the system on behalf of the sponsor companies.
"We are working quickly and effectively in an unprecedented effort to improve incident preparedness," said Lloyd Guillory, marine well containment system project executive. "Our progress since we announced the system demonstrates the commitment of our companies to make equipment immediately available for incident response."
Existing BP equipment is being assessed for use in near-term response capability.
Mr. Guillory added, "This and other equipment that the project expects to acquire will enable us to preserve and secure existing capability for use by the oil and gas industry in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico while we build the new system that exceeds current response capabilities."
The equipment will be operated by MWCC. The formation of the company and details about membership will be announced soon.