MWCC increases containment capping stack depth to 10,000 ft

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 15
-- Marine Well Containment Co. (MWCC) said its interim capping stack now can meet the requirements for operations in water depths up to 10,000 ft, which is an increase from the previous 8,000 ft water depth limit.

“This increase in our capability demonstrates our commitment to providing a comprehensive deepwater well containment system for the US Gulf of Mexico,” said MWCC Chief Executive Officer Marty Massey.

The capping stack is designed to cap or contain hydrocarbon flow after a deepwater well control incident. It can handle pressures of up to 15,000 psi.

MWCC explains that the capping stack provides a dual barrier for containment through a blowout preventer ram and a containment cap. Through its side valves, the capping stack can also redirect fluid flow to surface vessels through flexible pipes and risers, if necessary.

MWCC has tested the capping and maintains it in a continuous state of readiness for mobilization. The stack has a height of about 30-ft and a width of 14-ft. It weighs almost 100 tons.

A Shell permit application, which cited the MWCC interim system for drilling in 9,800 ft of water in the Tobago field, met the requirements of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation, and Enforcement and was approved.

MWCC said its expanded containment system is on track for delivery in 2012. In addition to operating in water depth up to 10,000 ft, the expanded system will have the capacity to capture up to 100,000 bbl of fluid and 200 MMcfd of gas.

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