Deepwater Blowout Response Technologies Ð Cranfield University MSc Group Project Presentation

26 May, 2011


Deepwater Blowout Response Technologies

Cranfield University MSc Group Project Presentation


26 May 2011 London Evening Meeting

Chairman Alex Hunt, Engineering Technology Manager, BG Group

Sponsored by BG Group





Following the Macondo deepwater well blowout and the loss of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, there is much focus on the adequacy of contingency plans should a similar incident occur again. There are six main areas that are currently under review: oil spill modelling; dispersants; spill clean-up and oil / water separation; interim containment techniques; capping stacks for long-term containment; subsea BOPs.

The capping stack was ultimately successful in halting the uncontrolled flow of hydrocarbons from the well. However, all of the other techniques were used before this could be deployed. Investigations by a number of different bodies, from both industry and governments, are now looking at how effective the various techniques were and areas for improvement. A number of interim findings have already been published, but work in all of these areas will continue for a number of years.

Capping stacks are already under development, funded by organisations such as the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC). The reliability of subsea BOPs is also under investigation and a number of areas for improvement have already been identified and publicised. However, the first four items listed above address what can be done whilst a long-term solution is being prepared for deployment and it is these that have been the focus of a review by a group of Cranfield University students. The work has just been completed as a Group Project that forms part of their MSc in Offshore and Ocean Technology – option in Subsea Engineering. During the meeting, members of the team presented their findings.



Review Team, Cranfield University – Oliver Eatough, Chuen Hang Tan (Hugo), Olufola Olumekun, Jonatan Picard-Gobet, Mazen Ebeid, Obukem Andrew Uchendu and Delali Otchi – and Dr Fuat Kara, Course Director and Head of Offshore Technology, Cranfield University

This review has assessed the key areas of immediate response that are available to the industry. It has looked at both current and emerging oil spill response technologies and capabilities of the oil and gas industry. It has also sought to identify areas of possible future development and a number of recommendations were presented.

Group and individual projects and reviews offer benefits to both industry and academia. The elements required for successful collaborations were discussed, along with current focus areas.