Containment System for Deepwater Gulf Wells

May 2015, Vol 242, No. 5

Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) recently delivered its Expanded Containment System (ECS), designed for well-containment capabilities and response readiness for operators in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The enhanced system builds on the equipment and technology put into place with MWCC’s Interim Containment System, made available in February 2011.

“The completion of the Expanded Containment System represents a major milestone for our company and a significant investment from industry,” said MWCC CEO Don Armijo. The system, which consists of equipment from the company’s interim and expanded systems, was built for use in depths up to 10,000 feet. It has the capacity to contain up to 100,000 bpd of liquids and handle up to 200 MMscf/d of gas. The containment system includes two modular capture vessels (MCVs); three capping stacks; subsea umbilical, risers and flowlines (SURF) equipment; and additional ancillary equipment.

MWCC’s SURF equipment is used to flow fluid from the capping stack to capture vessels on the surface. The company’s two MCVs, the Eagle Texas (MCV A) and the Eagle Louisiana (MCV B), are modified Aframax tankers outfitted with modular processing equipment designed to capture, process, store and offload liquids from a damaged well. Each MCV can process up to 50,000 bpd of liquid with 700,000 bbls of storage capacity and can offload the liquids to shuttle tankers.

Aker Solutions provided the Subsea Containment Assembly, or SCA, for the system that is designed to contain a well control incident by connecting and creating a seal to prevent oil leaks. It can also be used in a cap-and-flow plan to direct fluid to vessels on the surface. The technology works under pressures as high as 15,000 psi. MWCC’s two shore base locations provide the storage, maintenance and skilled personnel necessary to support the deployment of MWCC’s Containment System and are strategically located along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The containment system is available for use by members as well as non-members on a per well basis. For membership information, visit

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