HOUSTON – The Marine Well Containment Co. says its capping stack now has met the requirements for containment in 10,000 ft (3,048 m) water depths. Heretofore the depth rating was 8,000 ft.
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 Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation, and Enforcement and was approved.
An expanded containment system is on track for delivery in 2012. In addition to this water depth increase, the system will have the capacity to capture up to 100,000 b/d of fluid and 200 MMcf/d of gas.
The capping stack is the centerpiece of an interim response containment system and is designed to cap or contain the flow of hydrocarbons in a deepwater well control incident. It can handle pressures of up to 15,000 psi.
The capping stack provides a dual barrier for containment through a BOP ram and a containment cap. Through its side valves, the capping stack can redirect the flow of fluid to surface vessels through flexible pipes and risers, if necessary. The capping stack is tested and maintained in a continuous state of readiness for mobilization and measures approximately 30 ft in height, 14 ft in width and weighs almost 100 tons.