MWCC was established in response to the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010. This event prompted unprecedented collaboration among companies within the energy industry who realized they needed a dedicated source control solution. In 2010, subsea source control organizations were nonexistent.
Almost immediately, major offshore operators came together to begin developing a solution to enhance response readiness for future events. In parallel, regulators initiated additional guidance for enhanced prevention and response practices for future deepwater drilling activities.
Regulators issued two Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTL) in 2010. The first required Operators to provide worst case discharge calculations – the worst case scenario for the amount of hydrocarbons released from a well, and emergency plans to mitigate the impact of losing subsea well control. The second notice gave specific requirements for lease holders to have access to capping stacks, dispersant and other source control equipment to stop the flow of a well. These standards were developed into regulation known as the Well Control Rule, which maintains the same standards for source control defined in the first two NTLs.
In July 2010, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell came together to build the world’s most comprehensive Containment System. This project, commissioned as the Marine Well Containment System, required an initial capital investment of more than $1 billion. These four companies became the initial members of Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) and were later joined by other major operators in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, united in the mission of ensuring the industry will be prepared to respond to future emergencies.