SPE 180018 . Subsea Blowout Source Control Technologies Utilized at the Macondo Accident and Developments in the Post-Macondo Era

Research output: Research - peer-reviewPaper


The publication generally and briefly describes what circumstances governed the petroleum industry and the connected regulatory organizations before the Macondo blowout. The paper shortly describes utilized classic containment and control efforts such as actuation attempts of the BOP, top kill with junk shot, relief wells. The publication’s main focus is to describe and graphically present in detail the Cofferdam, the Riser Insertion Tube Tool, Top Hat, Capping Stack and choke and kill line collection method which were utilized to seal off the flow of hydrocarbons at the Macondo blowout. An extended literature review has been completed to fully cover and understand the technologies which were utilized and newly developed in the efforts to stop the outflow and abrogate the accident. The assessment of critical properties, problems are also presented next to the description of the specific source control technology. The blowout has triggered efforts never seen before both in short- and long-term not only from the side of affected regulatory and company side but industry wide. Short-term, the main effort was to contain the blowout as soon as possible, long-term it triggered strong determination from companies, and connected businesses to create proper contingency planning, containment technologies and strategies also through newly established consortiums. The non-profit oriented consortiums, containment systems and established HSE regulations need to be maintained properly even in a low oil price environment, so deeper understanding, recurrent inspection of the development ways of containment technologies in offshore environment can be crucial for sustaining the high HSE standards. The paper also aims to summarize knowledge to be able to make proper decisions in case of deepwater projects.


Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 20 Apr 2016