BP plc said Tuesday it plans to share technical information used to build its deepwater well-capping equipment with the exploration and production (E&P) unit of Mexico’s Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).
Since the end of August Pemex has reported two deepwater discoveries in the Perdido Fold Belt in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) near the Mexico-U.S. maritime boundary (see Daily GPI, Oct. 9). The discovery wells, Supremus 1 and Trion 1, may be part of an oil and gas system that could be the “biggest” for Pemex in many years, even decades, said Mexico President Felipe Calderon.
“The agreement marks another step forward in Pemex E&P’s ongoing efforts to help protect the rich Gulf of Mexico environment in which we operate, as well as to apply state-of-the-art technology as we develop Mexico’s deepwater oil and natural gas resources,” said Pemex E&P President Carlos Morales.
Under the technology license agreement, BP would make available technical information that Pemex E&P may use, in addition to initiatives already in place, if it decides to build and maintain a well-capping system for use in the GOM’s Mexican waters.
BP plans to share the information on the capping stack at no cost, and Pemex E&P has agreed to make any future advancements to the well-capping technology available at no cost to BP. BP would retain intellectual property rights.
In addition, BP agreed to conduct workshops in Houston to brief Pemex technical teams on the information and operational aspects of the system, as well as to introduce the company’s E&P specialists to vendors and fabricators that BP used to develop its well cap and tooling package.
BP’s Richard Morrison, who runs the company’s deepwater response unit, said the agreement underscored the company’s commitment to share lessons learned from the 2010 Macondo well blowout and response.
The announcement “builds on our commitment and the work we have done — and continue to do — to help advance global deepwater response capabilities around the world,” Morrison said. Providing Pemex E&P with access to “technological innovation and information” allows operators in both the U.S. and Mexico areas of the GOM to be equipped to respond to a subsea well control incident.
BP’s global deepwater well cap is a 100-ton stack of valves that may be lowered onto a leaking well to halt the flow. The system is able to operate in 10,000 feet of water and is rated to pressures of 15,000 pounds per square inch. Stored in Houston, it can be sent by heavy-lift aircraft to any country where BP operates in days, the operator said.
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