Norway opens oil-spill response center

May 1, 2013 at 6:51 AM
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STAVANGER, Norway, May 1 (UPI) -- Norway opened a base of operations to serve as a staging point for equipment used to respond to an offshore oil spill, Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe said.

International consortium Oil Spill Response Ltd. will administer the well-capping system from a base near Stavanger. The Norwegian base is the first of four planned globally.

"It is reassuring to see the industry taking responsibility for improving its emergency preparedness through the development of this well-capping system," Moe said in a statement.

The well-capping system was developed through the Subsea Well Response Project, a project funded by major energy companies like Norway's Statoil, BP and U.S. supermajor ConocoPhillips.

The 150-member international oil-spill consortium said its capping system can deploy globally and work in water depths of 9,800 feet.

A similar capping system was deployed in response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

"The fact that well capping equipment is now located in Norway will facilitate a quicker response in the event of an incident in the North Atlantic," said Moe.

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