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HWCG LLC is a not-for-profit consortium of deepwater oil and gas companies. HWCG maintains a comprehensive deepwater well containment response model that can be activated immediately in the event of a US Gulf of Mexico subsea blowout.[1] It comprises oil and gas companies operating in the Gulf and incorporates the consortium’s generic well containment plan. HWCG has a healthy mutual aid component whereby HWCG members will respond and support another member’s incident.[2]


After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, President Obama announced a drilling moratorium on new permits for offshore wells and exploration in the Gulf of Mexico came to a standstill.[3] In response to the suspension, twenty-four deepwater operators[4] came together to establish well containment resources and plans according to the guidelines set forth in BOEMRE’s (BSEE’s) Notice To Lessees No. 2010-N10.[5] These offshore oil and gas companies formed HWCG LLC with the common goal of establishing and maintaining the capability to quickly and comprehensively respond to a subsea blowout.[6]

Response System Capabilities[edit]

The consortium’s response system builds on the equipment proven effective in the containment of the Deepwater Horizon blowout, including the Helix Fast Response System with the Q4000 intervention vessel and Helix Producer 1 from Helix Energy Solutions Group.[7]

HWCG’s core equipment includes two dual-ram capping stacks capable of operating in water depths through 10,000 feet.[8] These capping stacks can effectively shut-in and contain a subsea well. If a flow and capture is required, the system is capable of a process volume of 130,000 barrels of oily fluids per day and 220 million cubic feet of gas per day.[9]

HWCG maintains contracts and operating agreements with over thirty service providers to leverage additional expertise, assistance and equipment. This integrated response solution yielded a tested deployment response time[10] of less than seven days to cap a deepwater well, compared to the nearly 90 days needed to contain the Deepwater Horizon[11] blowout.

HWCG continues to run annual subsea incident response drills and collaborates with members, service sector companies and regulators[12] in order to continually test and improve its response plan.[13]


HWCG currently supports seventeen member companies: Deep Gulf Energy LP, ENI US Operating Company Inc., EnVen Energy Ventures, LLC, Energy Resource Technology GOM, Inc., LLOG Exploration Company, LLC, Marubeni Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., Murphy Exploration & Production Company (USA), Noble Energy Services, Inc., Petrobras USA Inc., Red Willow Offshore, LLC, Repsol Services Company, Ridgewood Energy WCG Member, LLC, Talos ERT, Talos Petroleum LLC, TOTAL E&P USA, INC, Walter Oil & Gas Corporation and W&T Offshore, Inc.[14]


  1. ^ Addison, Velda (April 10, 2015). "Push For Offshore Safety Continues As Industry Awaits Regs". E&P Magazine.
  2. ^ Brady, Jeff (April 19, 2011). "Oil Firms Seek To Prove They Can Contain Spills". NPR.
  3. ^ "Obama Offshore Drilling Moratorium: Administration Issues New Rule". Huffington Post. Associated Press. July 12, 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Deepwater Horizon Spurs Development of Spill Prevention Systems". Rigzone. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  5. ^ "National Notice to Lessees and Operators (NTL) of Federal Oil and Gas Leases, Outer Continental Shelf". United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  6. ^ "NOIA president talks safety". Offshore Engineer. April 9, 2015.
  7. ^ Kratz, Owen. "Testimony on Offshore Drilling Safety and Response Technologies" (PDF). Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  8. ^ Bitto, Ron. "Offshore in depth" (May 2015). World Oil.
  9. ^ "HWCG Expands Capabilities to Minimize Potential Impact of a Deepwater Incident". Reuters. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  10. ^ "BSEE, Noble Energy and Helix Well Containment Group Successfully Complete Deepwater Well Containment Exercise". Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  11. ^ Coatney, David. "Testimony for the House Natural Resources Committee Hearing on Safety Innovations Developed Since Deep Water Horizon Tragedy" (PDF). House Natural Resource Committee. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  12. ^ Snow, Nick (April 23, 2015). "Diligence essential to avoid future offshore mistakes, panel told". Oil & Gas Journal.
  13. ^ Leon, Audrey (April 21, 2015). "Five years after Deepwater Horizon". Offshore Engineer.
  14. ^ "HWCG Member Companies". HWCG. Retrieved 4 September 2015.