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May 4, 2012

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Well control device wins process safety award

The Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG) has won an award for developing a well-capping device.

The group, which was set up by Oil & Gas UK in May 2010, was presented with the award for Best Contribution to Process Safety, by the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Aberdeen Members’ Group.

OSPRAG received the honour for its development of a capping device to seal off an uncontrolled subsea well in the event of a major well-control incident. The device, which took only seven months to design, minimises environmental damage and buys time for engineers to develop a permanent solution to seal the well. It can be connected to various points of subsea equipment and deployed in the widest possible range of subsea well types and scenarios, including in deep waters and harsh conditions.

The capping device was launched in September last year and was handed over to Oil Spill Response Ltd, which stores it at an operational base in the North East of Scotland.

Brian Kinkead, who led the OSPRAG workgroup responsible for developing the cap, was delighted to accept the award. He said: “The successful completion and availability of the cap marked a major step forward in industry preparedness and significantly bolstered the capacity to deal with a major loss of well control.

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