The Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) says it has completed its Gulf of Mexico expansion program, known as Deep Blue, and is now fully prepared to respond to an oil spill incident in the Gulf of Mexico, if and when necessary.
As part of the Deep Blue program, MSRC repositioned one of its 210 ft Oil Spill Response Vessels (OSRVs), now renamed the Deep Blue Responder, from the Atlantic Coast to MSRC’s new equipment site in Port Fourchon, LA. The addition of the Deep Blue Responder brings MSRC’s number of dedicated Responder Class OSRVs pre-positioned within 60 hours of the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico to seven.
The Deep Blue program also involved the previously announced contracts with Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) and Hornbeck Offshore Services (HOS) to modify five Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) and Multi-Purpose Support Vessels (MPSVs) with permanently installed skimming systems, ocean boom and boom-tending capabilities, and below-deck storage capacity for recovered oil. Under the contract, the five modified vessels will continue to operate under their normal charters however can be repurposed in the event of an oil spill.
For increased recovered oil capacity, MSRC re-engineered five storage barges as dedicated skimming barges. Staged from Ingleside, TX, to Tampa, FL, the barges have (on average) approximately 48,000 barrels of temporary storage capacity, as well as newly enhanced on board skimming equipment.
In addition to adding vessels to the region, MSRC has invested heavily in technology and equipment to help its repsonse. On each of the vessels in the Deep Blue program, MSRC has installed X-band and infrared technology that will help crews conduct skimming operations during adverse weather, low visibility and night operations. MSRC also added 65,000 feet of ocean boom and 21,000 feet of fire boom, as well as increased the number of dedicated dispersant spray and spotter aircrafts to six nationwide, two of which are located in the Gulf of Mexico.
Founded in 1990, MSRC is a not-for-profit entity that is solely funded by the Marine Preservation Association (MPA) through its member companies. These companies include Gulf of Mexico operators: Anadarko, Apache, BP, Chevron, Cobalt, ConocoPhillips, Energy Resource Technology, ExxonMobil, Murphy, Nexen, Noble, Shell and Statoil.
“MPA Members have always been committed to funding comprehensive spill response programs to ensure the availability of robust response capabilities beyond base regulatory requirements,” said MPA President and CEO, Brett Drewry. “Without question, MSRC continues to have the largest capability in the Gulf and nationwide.”
Interested in working for MSRC? Check out their careers page for a complete list of job openings.