A UK group formed to study the safety of offshore oil and gas work after the April 2010 Macondo blowout and spill in the Gulf of Mexico has completed its work and disbanded (OGJ Online, May 26, 2010).
The Oil Spill Prevention & Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG), established by Oil & Gas UK, issued a final report listing findings in the areas of well control, spill response, and indemnity and insurance issues.
The group oversaw development of a modular capping device able to stop flow of as much as 75,000 b/d from a well in water as deep as 5,500 ft within 20-30 days of an incident. Manufacturing of the apparatus began in March (OGJ Online, Mar. 15, 2011). The device is based in Northeast Scotland.
The group also called on Oil & Gas UK to create and oversee the Well Life Cycle Practices Forum and Oil Spill Response Forum as “permanent mechanisms” to continue work in its operational areas.
“OSPRAG is confident that the UK stands in good stead to ensure that high standards in well design, construction, and management will continue to be enforced on the UKCS and that, in the unlikely event that a major uncontrolled well incident occurs, the industry’s strengthened contingency plans will allow an effective and robust response,” the report said.
The final report is available online.