Blowout containment system is ready, oil industry group says

Blowout containment system is ready, oil industry group says

Date: Feb 17, 2011

Blowout containment system is ready, oil industry group says

A consortium of five leading oil companies says its oil well blowout plugging and spill containment system is ready to go.

The Marine Well Containment Co., formed by ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell and now also including BP in its membership, embarked on a $1 billion project to have a Gulf of Mexico-wide containment system so the industry could get back to work after the BP well blowout last April.

The Interior Department has said the containment system is crucial to returning to work. Top regulator Michael Bromwich has said the MWCC's system, or a similar one being developed by Helix, must be ready before the government grants any permits to drill new exploratory wells in deepwater.

The MWCC says its interim system of response ships, oil collection pipes, manifolds and capping structures has been fully tested and final tests of the capping stack were observed this week by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

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