Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) today announced the availability of a 10k psi capping stack for use in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The completion of the 10k psi capping stack – which stands 25 ft. tall including the necessary lifting gear and weighs approximately 50 tons – marks another step in MWCC’s commitment to advancing well containment capabilities in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
The capping stack, which can handle up to 10k pounds of pressure per square inch, is an addition to the company’s containment system first made available in February 2011. It is the smaller of two capping stacks available with MWCC’s system which, with support from MWCC, provides operators more options to customize a containment plan based on the specifics of the wells being drilled.
“The 10k psi capping stack is a result of feedback we received from member companies who operate facilities with wells closer together that are not as easily accessed by our larger capping stack,” said Marty Massey, chief executive officer of Marine Well Containment Company. “The addition of the 10k psi capping stack is the latest example of ongoing system enhancements and our efforts to keep pace with members’ needs in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico.”
In support of MWCC, Shell agreed to lead the design and construction efforts for the 10k psi capping stack. With a footprint of 9 ft. by 9 ft., the 10k psi capping stack is easier to maneuver in areas where wellheads and riser systems are closely spaced, such as tension leg platform (TLP) applications where wells are beneath a floating production facility. The new dual ram capping stack can cap a well in depths up to 10,000 feet.
The 10k psi capping stack is an addition to the 15k psi capping stack – the centerpiece of MWCC’s interim containment system. In July 2012, the 15k psi capping stack was successfully deployed offshore in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to a simulated well site where MWCC validated its ability to respond to a deepwater well control incident. At the request of regulators, MWCC mobilized and lowered the capping stack 6,900 ft. subsea where all necessary functions were completed and pressure testing confirmed the ability to control a well.