Challenges facing the industry

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The formation of SWRP shows the resolve of major oil and gas companies to work together to strengthen existing capabilities and enhance the industry’s subsea well intervention capabilities.

Together, we are addressing the complex and significant task of identifying and implementing capping and/or containment solutions that can be used in different regions across the world.

Continual evolution and improvement
Oil and gas companies around the world are continually pioneering new technologies and techniques to deliver more effective and safer subsea drilling and incident response procedures. What is considered good practice today may be superseded by better practice in years to come. The industry is continually building on and improving existing practice to enhance safety – and that requires ongoing assessment, communication, cooperation and improvement across companies, and across countries.

Learning from collective experience
Recent well control incidents have highlighted the need for the oil and gas industry to be able to cap and/or contain flowing wells with greater speed and efficiency. The Macondo response involved the design and deployment of new technologies and methods, and the industry is now focusing on how to apply these to a range of potential circumstances in different regions of the world.

Ensuring global preparedness for wide-ranging conditions
Responding to the wide-ranging conditions is a major technical and logistical challenge. The geological contexts in which oil and gas are found vary greatly in type of fluid, reservoir size, water depth and locality. Weather and ocean conditions (such as wind and wave strength and day-to-day changes) can affect the suitability and effectiveness of any offshore incident response system.

Overview of mature offshore basins (excluding Gulf of Mexico) with Subsea BOPs

The distance between where equipment is stored and where it may be needed can significantly affect response times. SWRP has advised on how to deploy the new well capping equipment in ways that minimise the response time needed.

Securing industry-wide commitment
Safety is at the heart of the oil and gas industry. A strong commitment from the many hundreds of industry associations and regulators to work together is necessary to build on existing capabilities and increase the overall level of safety and environmental sustainability of offshore oil and gas exploration.