The world’s first Modular Capture Vessel (MCV) was delivered today from Drydocks World to Singapore-based AET.
Named Eagle Texas, the vessel was converted from an Aframax tanker into a vessel aimed at mitigating deepwater oil spill disasters such as the 2010 Macondo oil spill.
The vessel is under a 20-year contract with Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) a consortium of energy firms comprised of Anadarko, Apache, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Hess, Shell and Statoil.
These companies came together post-Macondo to come up with a shared solution to the challenges of mitigating a deepwater well blowout. The solution they reached is comprised of two primary parts, the deepwater capping stack which is lowered on to a well head, and the vessel used to capture the oil.
During Macondo, Transocean’s Discoverer Enterprise drillship, with its Extended Well Testing functionality, was used to store and subsequently burn off the crude oil, however it was not specifically designed for the task. Should a disaster such as Macondo happen again, the Eagle Texas with 700,000 barrels of storage capacity and her newly installed dynamic positioning system, would be hooked up to the capping stack, and the hydrocarbons would be routed on board the vessel. The oil would then be stored until offloaded via shuttle tanker, gas would be flared.
In the meantime, the Eagle Texas, and MCV #2 (once delivered) will operate as normal tankers in the US Gulf of Mexico.
Work scope at Drydocks World
The work scope of the shipyard included installing components such as four retractable azimuth thrusters, one tunnel bow thruster, new machinery spaces, diesel generator sets and associated tanks, auxiliaries, switchboards, and electrical distribution equipment. The main engine was modified for CPP operation and a control system was added for dynamic positioning, power management and equipment monitoring.
Structural support stools and foundations were added for the future installation of topsides processing modules, a turret, flare tower, communications equipment, control facilities and other miscellaneous equipment. The ship’s systems were modified to provide services to topsides processing equipment, as well as hydraulic systems for the CPP, thrusters, cargo valve control and fire pumps. A new main deck central pipe rack was fabricated and piping was installed to support topsides processing equipment. The ship‘s living quarters were also upgraded to accommodate more than 65 persons.
Mechanical completion, pre-commissioning, commissioning, testing and sea trials of the converted vessel were also carried out.