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Operating safely

The Subsea Well Response Project (SWRP), a consortium founded by nine leading companies, has designed and built a comprehensive capping system for use at depths of up to 3,000 metres. The project was set up, with Shell as the operator, to make vital equipment ready for deployment worldwide following the BP Deepwater Horizon tragedy in the GoM in 2010. It seeks to improve drilling safety and to minimise environmental impact in the event of a serious incident. The SWRP intervention system is designed to be adaptable to various situations and locations. During 2013, the equipment will be moved to bases in four locations around the world to improve speed of deployment.

Shell has also joined with other companies that operate in the GoM to form the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC). With over $1 billion of funding, the 10 member companies have set up a rapid-response system that is designed to cap and shut in the well, or capture and contain the oil, in the event of a future underwater well blowout in the GoM. In 2012, MWCC lowered a seven-metre tall capping stack more than 2,000 metres onto a well to demonstrate its capability. Shell volunteered to perform the drill, working closely with federal regulators, including the US Coast Guard and the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.