U.S. to test oil spill response system

May 25, 2012 at 10:17 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. government called on an oil-spill response company to conduct a live drill in the Gulf of Mexico to test its capabilities, the interior secretary said.

The non-profit Marine Well Containment Co. was set up in the wake of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to respond to disasters like the incident at BP's Deepwater Horizon oil platform.

MWCC announced last year it increased the abilities of its capping system to work in water depths of 10,000 feet, an increase of 2,000 feet.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called on MWCC to conduct a live drill during the summer to test its ability to respond to a spill like the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.

"This exercise is an opportunity to deploy systems, test readiness, and train under real-time conditions," he said in a statement.

MWCC states its interim containment system could contain up to 60,000 barrels of liquid per day.

More than 50,000 barrels of oil per day was spilling into the Gulf of Mexico before the failed Macondo well was capped in July 2010. The failed well was in about 5,000 feet of water.

Topics: Ken Salazar
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