Gulf of Mexico Offshore / Deepwater Capability
In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon incident, and without any regulatory requirements to do so, MSRC worked with its customers operating in the Gulf of Mexico to create an enhanced response capability in the Gulf. This program was completed in 2011.
Key Objectives of the Program
- Increase the effectiveness of mechanical recovery through:
- Expansion of the number of dedicated oil spill response and recovery platforms in the Gulf of Mexico
- Increasing the ability to utilize commercial Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) and Multi-Purpose Support Vessels (MPSVs) to supplement MSRC's existing dedicated platforms
- Enhancing the ability to find and encounter recoverable oil on the water's surface
- Increase the effectiveness of other key response tools, including:
- Dispersant capability
- Controlled burning capability
To meet its objectives, MSRC repositioned one of its 210 ft Responder Class Oil Spill Response Vessels (OSRVs), now renamed the Deep Blue Responder, from the Atlantic Coast to Port Fourchon, LA. A total of seven Responder Class OSRVs are now pre-positioned within 60 hours of the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico operations.
Pre-Engineered Skimming Barges
MSRC pre-engineered its five storage barges in the Gulf of Mexico as dedicated skimming barges. Staged from Ingleside, TX, to Tampa, FL, these barges have (on average) approximately 48,000 barrels of temporary storage capacity, as well as newly enhanced on-board skimming capability.
PSV Response Packages
As part of MSRC's Gulf Region, MSRC has eight spill response recovery systems available for use on PSVs, that would otherwise be in commercial service. The systems include high capacity skimmers and ocean containment boom. The PSVs are intended to be reinforcements to supplement MSRC's dedicated Responder Class vessels and ocean barges, in the event of a major offshore incident and their mobilization would depend on the particular circumstances at the time of the event.
Dispersants and In-situ Burning
Under appropriate and approved conditions, dispersants and controlled burning can be equally important tools in a large-scale release. To that end, MSRC has increased the number of its dispersant spray and spotter aircraft to a dedicated total of four aircraft nationwide. Two of these planes are located in the Gulf of Mexico, which complement the Federal requirements for tank and non-tank vessels as well as MSRC's Gulf of Mexico expansion program. Additionally, MSRC has staged 19,000 feet of fire boom in the Gulf of Mexico. MSRC's total nationwide inventory of fire boom (22,500 ft) is estimated to be the largest single inventory of fire boom owned by any spill response company in the world.