Helix Well Containment Group to Significantly Expand Deepwater Capabilities

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Helix Well Containment Group (HWCG) announced today it will substantially increase its subsea well containment capabilities this year by expanding its ability to control and contain a release in water depths up to 10,000 feet.

“Our enhanced response and containment capabilities would exceed the depth of any well currently drilled or planned by the consortium’s 22 members and would allow operators to control capping and containment stacks at the greater depths”

HWCG is a consortium of 22 deepwater operators in the Gulf of Mexico that has come together with the common goal of expanding capabilities to quickly and comprehensively respond to such an incident to protect employees, communities and the environment. HWCG’s current system is capable of facilitating control and containment of spills in water depths up to 5,600 feet and will utilize Helix Energy Solutions Group’s Q4000, the intervention vessel effectively used during the Deepwater Horizon response. The system features a 10,000 psig capping stack.

By April 8, 2011, the system is expected to have increased containment capacity and capabilities for water depths up to 8,000 feet, as well as capture and processing capabilities of 55,000 barrels of oil per day and 95 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. In the coming weeks, HWCG will also add a 15,000 psig capping stack.

Full operational capability for water depths of up to 10,000 feet is anticipated mid-summer 2011.

“Our enhanced response and containment capabilities would exceed the depth of any well currently drilled or planned by the consortium’s 22 members and would allow operators to control capping and containment stacks at the greater depths,” said Roger Scheuermann, commercial director for HWCG.

Building upon equipment effectively used in the Deepwater Horizon response, HWCG has signed an agreement with Helix Energy Solutions Group (NYSE: HLX) to provide the primary components of the response. Additionally, HWCG has agreements in place with more than 30 service providers who will provide additional services, products and personnel, if needed.