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New containment concept to improve subsea well incident preparedness, response

Posted on 05 September 2013

Oil Spill Response Ltd (OSRL) and the Subsea Well Response Project (SWRP) will further develop existing subsea well response capability through the provision of a subsea well containment concept supplemented by a containment toolkit. “Development of the containment concept highlights the continuing benefits of close industry collaboration as we strive to enhance incident response capabilities,” Keith Lewis, project manager at SWRP, said. “This is part of a package of measures we have helped to introduce, including the delivery of advanced well-capping equipment earlier this year.”

The concept, engineered into a template containment system, is described in the Subsea Well Containment Guidelines and will be available for industry use from the end of 2014. It relies on standard readily available well test riser and surface equipment deployed offshore from a drilling rig to safely flow to surface, process and dispose of well hydrocarbons. The containment toolkit comprises equipment that is not currently available in the industry at short notice.

Containment capability is designed to complement a subsea well incident response in scenarios where capping alone is not sufficient to stem the flow of well fluids and to capture and dispose of them in a safe and controlled way.

The containment toolkit components will be stored and maintained ready for transportation at strategic international locations to facilitate timely response around the world. “It is my commitment to industry that we shall work together to develop sound contingency planning for both capping and containment, as part of the essential preparation for any potential emergency response to a subsea well incident,” Robert Limb, CEO of OSRL, said.

OSRL has selected the following contractors to deliver the toolkit:

Wellstream International – flexible jumpers and flowlines

Expro North Sea – transfer pumps and coolers

Trendsetter Engineering – flowline end terminations, flow spools with subsea test tree latch and subsea connectors

Oceaneering – mono-ethanol and glycol delivery system

Aker Solutions – hose end valve

Dunlop Oil and Marine – marine offloading hose

Provision of both capping and containment capability will be available to the international industry as part of OSRL’s Subsea Well Intervention Service to which companies may subscribe.

About the equipment

The containment toolkit is designed to supplement standard industry hardware, including: vessels, well test equipment, drill riser, BOP, inner string, coil tubing unit & tubing.

The international toolkit includes: flowline end termination; chemical distribution assembly and coiled tubing termination head; MEG hoses; MEG flying leads; side-entry flow spool with latch; marine offloading hoses and valves; topsides transfer pumps and coolers.

The three regional toolkits include: 2 x 250-meter flexible jumpers and  2 x 2,050-meter flexible flowlines.

Access to the equipment and guidelines is via membership of OSRL and a supplementary subscription agreement. For more information, contact subseaservices@oilspillresponse.com.

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