Nine years have passed since the Deepwater Horizon disaster and industry is in a considerably better position to respond to a loss of well control of that scale. With the delivery of the Offset Installation Equipment (OIE) in January 2018 the joint industry Subsea Well Response Project (SWRP) has drawn to a close. Despite this, equipment and services continue to be developed. This paper will communicate developments in subsea well response technologies and the latest guidance developed by industry.
This paper provides an overview of the International Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) Report 594 - Source Control Emergency Response Planning Guide for Subsea Wells. What should a comprehensive subsea Source Control Emergency Response Plan (SCERP) consider? What resources including manpower, expertise and equipment would be required for a controlled response? In addition, it provides an overview of recent enhancements in subsea well response equipment. This includes; offset installation equipment (OIE) for shallow water scenarios where vertical access above a wellhead may not be possible and air-freight capping stack solutions to minimise incident country configuration and testing.
The findings from technical and logistical studies, whilst developing this technology, will be clearly communicated for industry consideration. This includes critical activities to be considered in developing response times models. This paper will demonstrate that capping equipment located in country does not necessarily improve the overall response time for a loss of well control event; an effectively planned response is more important than immediate hardware availability. The importance of mutual aid of personnel and equipment in a response will be key as not one company can provide all the solutions.
Although only required for remote or land locked basins, to further enhance industries capabilities, it has recently been demonstrated that existing ram based capping stacks can be transported by air, without disassembly, and thereby maintaining pressure boundaries. This allows for a more rapid air mobilisation to the incident location without the need for major re-assembly upon arrival.
Following the Macondo incident in 2010, industry has taken steps to improve response readiness in case of a subsea well control incident. This led to Oil Spill Response Limited's (OSRL) Subsea Well Intervention Service (SWIS) being formed. SWIS allows industry the capability to better respond to a subsea well-control incident by providing state of the art subsea well intervention equipment.
This paper will provide an overview of SWIS and demonstrate how the equipment is stored and maintained in a response ready state, including information on periodic maintenance performed and logistics philosophy for mobilisation. In addition, it will provide an update on the Containment Toolkit, allowing for cap and flow operations.
The equipment available includes 10K and 15K psi Capping Stack Systems (CSS) and Subsea Incident Response Toolkit (SIRT); comprised of Site survey, Debris Clearance, Subsea Dispersant and Blowout Preventer (BOP) Intervention System. The equipment is stored at strategic global locations, covering the main areas of oil exploration and production worldwide. It is transportable by land, air and sea and can be called upon by any OSRL SWIS Capping member. Further to this, the OSPRAG Capping Device will be discussed, which provides cover for the UK Continental Shelf.
To enhance the capability of SWIS the Containment Toolkit will be delivered to OSRL during 2015. The equipment in the containment toolkit is designed to supplement standard industry well test hardware to create a containment system. It comprises long-lead equipment not readily available in the current industry and minimises response times by allowing a responding well operator to draw on existing resources.