HWCG Collaborates with CSA for the Development of a SDM Equipment Program in the Gulf of Mexico

HWCG Collaborates with CSA for the Development of a SDM Equipment Program in the Gulf of Mexico
Control room for deployment offshore. (Image credit: CSA Ocean Sciences)

The US Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is crucial to domestic offshore energy production, protecting people and the environment is of principal importance to the oil and gas industry. In an effort to enhance monitoring capabilities and comply with new regulations, HWCG LLC (HWCG), a consortium of deepwater operators in the GOM, is leading the development of a Surface Dispersant Monitoring (SDM) Program.

HWCG collaborated with CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA), a marine environmental consulting firm and key Response Provider for HWCG’s deepwater containment organization, in the development of the SDM Equipment Program. CSA’s scientists and operations specialists selected equipment for the SDM Program to meet regulatory requirements for the use of dispersants when responding to oil discharges as governed by the US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 40, Part 300: National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, Subpart J (40 CFR 300.913). When proposing to use surface dispersants for more than 96 hours or in response to a discharge of more than 100,000 gallons in 24 hours, the regulation requires collection of water samples and data near the ocean surface, including droplet size distribution, dissolved oxygen concentration, methane, pH, in situ fluorescence, temperature, and salinity.

1 okeanus lars 1CSA’s scientists and ops specialists selected equipment for the SDM Program, which included an Okeanus winch. (Image credit: Okeanus)

While the industry’s primary focus is prevention and containment, being prepared to respond to an accidental discharge is essential. HWCG’s operating members are now capable of deploying simultaneous deepwater monitoring and surface monitoring at different locations to effectively use dispersants as a response tool, to optimize response time, and to comply with current regulations.

HWCG’s Managing Director, Craig T. Castille, stated, “HWCG’s operating members working in the US GOM have access to one of the most technologically advanced and comprehensive response systems in the world. This system is capable of capping wells with up to 20,000 psi shut-in pressure, and water depths up to 10,000 ft. HWCG’s response plan integrates key Response Providers and Member Mutual Aid to provide an effective and efficient source control solution, meeting the National Response Priorities stipulated in 40CFR300.317: 1) Safety of human life, 2) Securing the source, and 3) Using all necessary containment and removal tactics. These capabilities are complemented by having access to CSA’s monitoring equipment, scientists, and operations personnel to monitor and protect the environment and response workers.”

HWCG offers other operators in the GOM the opportunity to join the SDM Program and strengthen the industry’s ability to respond rapidly to accidental discharges that could potentially affect surface waters of the GOM and its shoreline.

About HWCG: HWCG is a not-for-profit consortium of deepwater oil and gas companies that maintains a comprehensive deepwater well containment response model that can be quickly activated in the event of a loss of subsea well control. HWCG’s membership is comprised of 14 oil and gas companies who have access to the consortium’s well containment resources, including Member Mutual Aid, to quickly and comprehensively mitigate the impacts associated with a well control emergency.

About CSA: CSA is a marine environmental consulting firm founded in 1970 that serves the environmental, geophysical, and geotechnical needs of the offshore energy industry. For more information on CSA, email info@conshelf.com.


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