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calendar   Saturday - July 24, 2010

Billion Dollar Safety Investment

Oil Companies Pledge $1B For New Spill Containment System



Scared shitless that Obama is about to nationalize them, the Big 4 companies put oil spill R&D into high gear. Ok, that’s my opinion, but it’s pretty obvious, right?


Four U.S. oil giants announced a spill-containment system to be used to deal with deepwater blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico.

Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell have committed $1 billion to fund the initial costs of the system, which they say would be able to deploy within 24 hours and operate in waters almost 2 miles deep under harsh weather conditions, with an initial capacity to contain 100,000 barrels of spilled oil a day.

“As an industry, we must rebuild trust with the American people in order to demonstrate that we can produce energy in a safe and environmentally responsible manner,” Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Co., said in a statement Wednesday.
...
“If we all do our jobs properly, this system will never be used,” said Rex Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil. “The extensive experience of industry shows that when the focus remains on safe operations and risk management, tragic incidents like the one we are witnessing in the Gulf of Mexico today should not occur,” he said.

The companies said they would form a non-profit organization, the Marine Well Containment Co., to operate and maintain the system.

While BP is not part of the initiative, the four companies said members of the oil industry would be invited to participate.

“The oil and gas industry has long been recognized as a technological leader, and the American public expects us to improve our ability to respond immediately to offshore incidents,” said Jim Mulva, ConocoPhillips chairman and chief executive officer. “The creation and development of this sophisticated system will greatly enhance industry’s ability to ensure a quick and effective response.”

The new system will be designed to be flexible, adaptable and able to begin mobilization within 24 hours and can be used on a wide range of well designs and equipment, oil and natural gas flow rates and weather conditions.  The new system will be engineered to be used in deepwater depths up to 10,000 feet and have initial capacity to contain 100,000 barrels per day with potential for expansion.
...
“As an industry, we must rebuild trust with the American people in order to demonstrate that we can produce energy in a safe and environmentally responsible manner,” said Marvin Odum, president, Shell Oil Company.  “Beyond Shell’s absolute commitment to oil spill prevention and robust well designs, additional safeguards must be strengthened across the industry to develop the capacity to quickly respond and resolve a deepwater well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, regardless of how unlikely it is that this situation will reoccur.”

Work on this new containment system is being accelerated to enhance deepwater safety and environmental protection in the Gulf of Mexico, which accounts for 30 percent of U.S. oil and gas production and supports more than 170,000 American jobs.

The companies are also actively involved in significant industry efforts to improve prevention, well intervention and spill response.  This includes rig inspections and implementation of new requirements on blowout preventer certification and well design.  The industry has proactively formed several multi-disciplinary task forces to further develop improved prevention, containment and recovery plans.

The companies have reviewed the system with key officials in the federal Administration and Congress and will conduct briefings with other key stakeholders.

Well, this is nice. And I hope it all sits around and turns into rust without every being used. But like a gun in your pocket, it’s better to have it and never need it, than it is to need it and not have it. And the BP mess is a case of the latter, from an industry that took a 2 generation nap because they could. Now the dogs are barking, so they’ve got to do something. I’m sure they will: “this isn’t rocket science, it’s just plumbing”. But plumbing at the end of a really, really long wrench. High powered deep sea robots and subs? We’ll see what they come up with. And then we’ll see them test and train. And we’ll pay the price, but it’s still cheaper than government takeover.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/24/2010 at 05:01 PM   
Filed Under: • Oil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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