Today, we announced a new rapid-response oil containment systemthat ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell plan to build for the Gulf of Mexico.
The system – involving a $1 billion initial commitment from the sponsor companies – is unprecedented in our industry. It will provide pre-engineered, constructed, and tested containment technology and equipment to be deployed within 24 hours of a spill in the Gulf.
A team of marine, subsea and construction engineers – comprised of experts from all four companies – is designing and constructing the new system, which will be available in the next six to 18 months. ExxonMobil will lead the engineering, procurement, and construction of equipment and vessels on behalf of the sponsor companies.
You can check out the detailed illustration of the new system above, but here are a few more details:
- Specially designed subsea containment equipment will be able to capture up to 100,000 barrels of oil a day initially, with potential for expansion.
- The captured oil will be sent up to vessels that can safely process, store and offload it.
- The system can be used in deepwater depths of up to 10,000 feet.
- It will stand, tested and ready, in the Gulf of Mexico to respond to the unlikely event of a future underwater blowout.
There has been a lot of discussion over the past few months about the industry’s ability to respond to an incident such as the Gulf of Mexico spill. This new rapid-response and containment system is just one of the steps ExxonMobil and others are taking to strengthen safety and security 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.
I think Rex Tillerson says it best – if we all do our jobs properly, this new system will never be used. The experience of our 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.