US completes capping stack drill

by on July 30, 2012 10:59 pm BST

The exercise, began 24 July, was supervised by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and executed by Shell and the Marine Well Containment Company.

The MWCC’s device was loaded out of the Houston ship channel onto the Laney Chouest. It then was brought nearly 200 miles offshore, lowered onto a practice target (a parking piling) nearly 7000 feet deep and deployed to a pressure of 10,000 psi.

“Through this demonstration, we effectively validated our ability to safely and effectively respond to a well control incident in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico,” said Marty Massey, chief executive at MWCC.

“This demonstration is further proof that we have the right people, processes and equipment in place to be continuously ready to respond.”

According to the BSEE, the exercise was the first drill of its kind to stimulate the use of the stack.

“It’s important to practice these types of deployments so that we spur the industry to think through all of the processes and identify problems in an environment in which we can all learn and improve,” BSEE director James Watson said in a statement.

“If the industry should ever have to deploy this equipment in a real response, we will all be much better prepared as a result of this exercise.”