MWCC Evaluates Readiness for Capping Stack Mobilization

Training Exercise Highlights Organization’s Unparalleled Response Ability

Response Team members engage in pre-deployment testing to verify 20K | 400°F Capping Stack, industry’s first capping stack to meet both high pressure and high temperature qualification, is response ready.
MWCC Response Team members engage in a shift handover meeting during Day 2 of the four-day, 24/7 mobilization exercise.
MWCC CEO David Nickerson confers with Senior Field Superintendent Frank Johnson during pre-deployment operations.
MWCC engages in lift operations in the onshore mobilization exercise of the 20K | 400°F Capping Stack. The capping stack, which weighs 275,000 pounds, will be set atop a self-propelled modular transport (SPMT) vehicle for mobilization to the quayside.
The 20K | 400°F Capping Stack exits the MWCC shore base in transit to the quayside during a recent full-scale onshore mobilization exercise.
The 20K | 400°F Capping Stack arrives at the Kiewit Offshore Services Ltd. quayside where it would be deployed from in the event of an actual activation.
Sea fastening operations on the 20K | 400°F Capping Stack commence in the final stage of MWCC’s full-scale onshore mobilization exercise.

HOUSTON, TX, November 16, 2020 – Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC), an independent company founded in 2010 to address the need for a deepwater well containment response capability in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, announced that it successfully executed the function testing and onshore mobilization of its 20K Capping Stack in early October. This exercise assessed MWCC’s capability to ready a capping stack within committed timeframes in the event of activation.

“Our recent exercise demonstrates to members, regulators and the public MWCC’s readiness to execute its core mission.,” stated MWCC CEO David Nickerson, “Performing the onshore mobilization of key facets of the Containment System not only allows us to keep our skills sharp, but provides an unmatched source of training opportunities and key learnings for our Response Team. Full-scale exercises, along with other trainings, help us continually validate and refine key response procedures and processes and ensure we are ready to respond effectively if we are needed.”

Specifically, the 20K Capping Stack drill exercised the pre-deployment testing regime, inclusive of both pressure and function verification; lift-and-set operations; equipment transfer to the dockside; and sea fastening of the capping stack to ready it for transport to an incident site. Operations required the use of a Liebherr LR1600/2 crane with Derrick Crawler with a nominal rated capacity of 660 tons to safely lift the 275,000-pound behemoth, industry’s first high- pressure, high-temperature capping stack.

“MWCC members wholly support the continued and constant verification activities that the organization engages in to ensure response readiness,” said Christopher Golden MWCC Executive Committee Chairman and Senior Vice President for Global Unconventionals at Equinor, “The recent mobilization of the 20,000 PSI Capping Stack was a significant undertaking which confirms our confidence in the capabilities of industry’s leading source control provider.”

The MWCC Response Team engaged in 24/7 operations during the exercise and utilized the Incident Command System structure as set forth by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Incident Management System. The exercise required the support of 46 Response Team members who worked 1,796 manhours in the performance of the task. The drill marshalled support from key contractors including Kiewit Offshore Services (KOS), Trendsetter Engineering, and Technip FMC, all of whom are under contract to support an actual incident.

“Preparedness is essential when it comes to deepwater well containment response,” said Paul Geldmeier, President of KOS, the nation’s leading offshore platform fabricator. “The MWCC Response Team is filled with experts in their field and everyone plays a critical role in the response. Through the exercise, we were able to bring those roles together and identify and fill any gaps that were discovered through the process. One good drill is worth a thousand emergency response plans.”

MWCC, its members and partners work throughout the year to validate deployment plans and demonstrate their industry leading capabilities. In fact, in addition to this unique exercise, MWCC aligns its drill and exercise program with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Exercise Evaluation Plan, executing an average of 50 trainings and exercises each year to build and maintain response readiness for potential incidents.

About Marine Well Containment Company
Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) is an independent company founded in 2010 to address the need for a deepwater well containment response capability in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. MWCC is a not-for-profit operation, headquartered in Houston, Texas, consisting of 10 member companies. The organizations’ members are some of the world’s largest offshore deepwater operators and make up roughly 70 percent of drilling activity in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico. More information about MWCC is available at

About Kiewit Offshore Services Ltd.
Kiewit Offshore Services Ltd. (KOS) is the No.1 offshore and underwater facilities contractor in North America. KOS specializes in the fabrication of jackets, topsides, onshore and offshore modules, living quarters, subsea kits, piles and tendons. Its 500-acre fabrication facility in Ingleside, Texas, is home to the world’s largest on-shore lifter, known as the Heavy Lifting Device (HLD). The HLD is 550 feet tall and capable of lifting 13,000 tons. KOS is a subsidiary of Kiewit Corporation.

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Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) is an independent company founded in 2010 to address the need for a deepwater well containment response capability in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

MWCC's industry-leading approach to deepwater well control incidents is built on three pillars: dedicated equipment, a highly skilled organization, and a preeminent responder training program.

MWCC has the most comprehensive portfolio of source control equipment to cover a broad range of well characteristics. The ownership of this system comes with great responsibilities to…