It is instructive to think about the current state of subsea well system design in its historical context. That is especially true if you look first at the earliest years, then at the years following the 1969 Santa Barbara blowout and spill, and then at the years following the Macondo blowout and spill. These last two periods illustrate both important similarities and important differences in equipment design, standardization, and regulation.

This paper examines the advances in design, standardization, and regulation of subsea well control and well containment equipment. This progress has continued the conservative, step-wise advances that have characterized the history of the subsea drilling and well control industry. This paper uses as an example the recent project developing a new 20,000 psi/350F capping stack.

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