Deepwater Horizon spill leads to new safety measures…in the U.K.

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill - FSU Sampling Cruise - June 22, 2010. Photo courtesy Dr. Oscar Garcia / Florida State University.

I’ve been asking various officials in Ghana what they’re doing about regulation in light of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. I’m assured that the BP disaster is being studied. I hope to have an opportunity to ask similar questions to Tullow and other oil company executives sometime soon. In the meantime, I scan the trade press for news. Today, for instance, I found out that work is underway on a new well-capping device for the U.K.’s offshore industry.

Here’s the story, from Oil & Gas Journal:

Work starts on spill cap for UK offshore

Mar 15, 2011

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Mar. 15 — Manufacturing has begun of a modular well-capping device central to enhancement of oil-spill readiness off the UK after the Macondo blowout and spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

The apparatus will have an overall working pressure rating of 15,000 psi and be able to cap a well flowing as much as 75,000 b/d in water as deep as 5,500 ft.

It is designed to achieve capping within 20-30 days of an incident, depending on weather and wellsite conditions. Deployment will be possible in sea states up to 16 ft, depending on the vessel used.

The cap will be attachable to various parts of subsea equipment.

Construction follows recommendation of the Oil Spill Prevention & Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG), which was set up by the UK offshore industry after the Macondo tragedy, as well as regulators and trade unions.

The industry group Oil Spill Response Ltd. commissioned the device, which Cameron Ltd. is building in Leeds. OSPRAG’s Technical Review Group oversaw design in conjunction with BP PLC, the Macondo operator.


I’m glad to hear that people somewhere are working to improve oil-spill preparedness. Unfortunately those people aren’t in the Gulf of Guinea.



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