The energy industry’s joint safety venture, Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC)

In July 2010, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil recognized the need to be better prepared for a deepwater well-control incident and committed to providing a new containment-response capability for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. In turn, MWCC was formed and its Containment System provides operators in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico the well-containment technology and equipment necessary to mount an effective response to a subsea well-control incident.

MWCC introduced its Interim Containment System (ICS) in February 2011. Today, the company’s Containment System includes two Modular Capture Vessels (MCVs), enhanced Subsea Umbilical, Risers and Flowlines (SURF) equipment, five capping stacks and additional ancillary equipment. MWCC has 10 member companies and represents unprecedented industry collaboration.

Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) is an independent company with headquarters in Houston. The company, which is not in the business of making a profit, is committed to being continuously ready to respond to a deepwater well-control incident in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The MWCC Containment System is built for use in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico in water depths from 500 feet to 10,000 feet, temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures up to 15k psi. A 20k psi – 400 degree Fahrenheit capping stack has also been built and is currently under review for acceptance by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). MWCC’s suite of containment equipment enables the company to mobilize and deploy the most appropriate well-containment technology based on the unique well-control incident and equipment requirements. The system has the capacity to contain up to 100,000 barrels of liquid per day and handle up to 200 million standard cubic feet of gas per day. MWCC worked with regulators from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure all expectations were met and that the system would not only safeguard the U.S. Gulf of Mexico but allow new permits to be issued. In keeping with the company’s mission to be continuously ready to respond, the equipment is regularly tested and maintained to ensure a ready state at MWCC’s two shore bases.

Image Photo Marine Well Containment System overview
Photo — Marine Well Containment System overview

MWCC’s Containment System is available for use by members as well as nonmembers on a per-well basis.

MWCC has 10 member companies. In addition to ExxonMobil, current members include: Anadarko, Apache, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Hess, Shell and Equinor.

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