Officials review oil containment system

Feb. 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM
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HOUSTON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Development of an interim oil spill containment system for work in the Gulf of Mexico protects a vital U.S. economic resource, a company said from Houston.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael Bromwich traveled to Houston to view the progress of a containment system meant to plug any industrial oil spill in the gulf.

The Marine Well Containment Co. said Feb. 18 that it developed an interim system that can operate in 8,000 feet of water and process up to 60,000 barrels of liquid per day.

The company was set up in the wake of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico last April to respond to any future accident. A failure at BP's Macondo oil well off the coast of Louisiana was spewing at least 50,000 barrels of oil per day into the gulf before it was capped in July.

The MWCC told visiting delegates that their recommendations were taken into consideration in the final specifications of the interim capping system.

The company added that its system would help protect 30 percent of the U.S. oil and gas production and more than 170,000 jobs tied to the Gulf of Mexico.

"The interim well containment system is complete and available for use," the company said in a statement.

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