The Coast Guard has partially assumed federal control of response operations to contain an oil discharge from the site of the collapsed Mississippi Canyon Block 20 (MC20) offshore platform 11 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Coast Guard will access the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and assume authority for containing and disposing the oil.
In November, the Coast Guard contracted a specialized team to conduct a comprehensive site survey, fabricate a containment system, and install it at the source to start collecting the oil. At present, the team is in the planning phase. Weather and sea state largely will dictate operations, which will involve cumulative weeks at sea, extensive dive and remotely operated vehicle operations, and underwater equipment installation.
“While the safety of response personnel is paramount, we don’t want to delay response activities,” said US Coast Guard Capt. Kristi Luttrell, the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) for the MC20 response. “We plan to leverage every weather window available from now until the system is installed and collecting oil,” she said.
The MC20 platform, owned by Taylor Energy, toppled in September 2004 during Hurricane Ivan after storm surge triggered an underwater mudslide. The platform's well conductor pipes were left buried in more than 100 ft of mud and sediment. Since the initial incident, federal officials have directed Taylor Energy to remove the platform deck, remove subsea debris, decommission the oil pipeline, attempt to contain the leaking oil, and plug nine of the 25 affected wells that were deemed highest risk. Following multiple scientific studies, conducted over several years by federal and industrial experts, the FOSC issued an administrative order in October requiring Taylor Energy to propose a final viable plan to install a containment system. In November, the FOSC ultimately issued Taylor Energy a Notice of Federal Assumption, and assumed authority for containing the oil.
“We are committed to public safety and preserving the Gulf marine environment,” Luttrell said. “As we move swiftly to develop and install the containment system, we will continue working with our federal, state, and local partners to ensure a permanent solution is in place,” she said.
Don't miss our latest HSE content, delivered to your inbox twice monthly. Sign up for the HSE Now newsletter. If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.
11 - 12 Sep 2019
- Bakersfield, California, USA
Combine engineering with computer programming in this 2-day course
9 - 11 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
The programme combines expert input, case studies, and immersive scenarios from the E&P and other industries to embed your learning and enable you to progress to the next level of your career.
10 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Safety Leadership focuses on the ‘Human Factors’ (HF) which complement technical training to optimize reliability, safety, compliance, efficiency and risks within a team-based environment.
1 Nov 2019
- Bali, Indonesia
Registration Coming Soon
3 Oct 2019
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Being Human - reserve your place at this one-day course
HSE Now is a source for news and technical information affecting the health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility discipline of the upstream oil and gas industry.
©2003-2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers, All Rights Reserved.