LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's been almost two years since the BP oil spill disaster halted deep water drilling and paralyzed a way of life along the Gulf coast. Learning from that mistake, 10 of the largest oil companies in the Gulf have developed a well containment system should the unthinkable occur again.
"Hopefully we will never use it, but it's here. It will be readily available to be deployed in the event of another well-blowout like the BP oil spill," said Robert Ward, Dynamic Industries Project Manager.
It's a complex system that ultimately will get the oil from the well to the ships above water. Lake Charles-based Dynamic Industries is charged with fabricating and commissioning two containment vessels. Ward explains each vessel will be able to process 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
"In other words - instead of cleaning the spill up later, we will actually capture and then it will be shuttled over to smaller ships to be brought in to shore," said Ward.
One main reasons Dynamic was chosen for the project was due in large part to the depth of the water at its Lake Charles fabricating facility. According to Ward it's one of the only facilities on the Gulf coast that can handle large ships - not only build the vessel but eventually send it out.
While the project will provide some 500 local construction jobs over the next year or so Ward said once the entire containment system is in place it will hopefully get the entire region back to work.
"It will also allow the deepwater well permits to be issued and get back to drilling in deep water, which is very critical to industry and on the Gulf coast," said Ward.
Most of the work on the containment vessels will be fabricated in Lake Charles. Other components will be delivered at which point they'll test and commission the vessels at the Lake Charles site.