SPE develops offshore guidelines on Worst Case Discharge

In response to the Macondo blowout, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), formerly the Minerals Management Service, issued a notice (NTL No. 2010-N06 ) concerning information that will be required in well plans submitted to the agency for permits to drill offshore U.S. One of the requirements is a calculation of the worst case discharge (WCD) if a blowout occurs. No direction on how to calculate the WCD was provided by BOEM. Recognizing that there are a number of methods that could be used, the Offshore Operators Committee  asked SPE to form a committee to develop consensus best-practice guidelines for WCD calculation.

The SPE Gulf of Mexico Incident Response Task Force worked with the Offshore Operators Committee  and the Offshore Technology Research Center  (a joint venture of University of Texas and Texas A&M) to bring together experts from industry and academia to share their methods and to develop consensus guidelines. A list of committee members is below. The committee developed proposed “Guidelines for Calculation of Worst Case Discharge From Offshore Wells ” and is seeking industry comment. 

***Comments should be submitted to WCDCalculation@spemail.org by 3 September.***

The committee will review all comments received and determine whether to make revisions to the guidelines. A final version of the guidelines will then be published by SPE on www.SPE.org.

SPE WCD Guidelines Committee
Chairman: Tim Magner, Chevron
Ashley Africa, Woodside Energy
Connie Bargas, Cobalt International Energy LP
Phillip Bednarz, ExxonMobil
Akhil Datta-Gupta, Texas A&M University
Stuart Hara, Shell
Jonathan Harris, Apache Corporation
Ron Harvey, Century Exploration New Orleans Inc.
Richard Hughes, Louisiana State University
Curt Killinger, Challenger Minerals Inc. (CMI)/Transocean
John Leonard, Stone Energy
Tad Patzek, University of Texas
Dan Smallwood, ConocoPhillips
Ted Skinner, Marathon Oil Company
Donny Torres, Newfield Exploration
James Wells, ATP Oil & Gas Corporation
Martin Wolff, Hess Corporation