LULA Exercise Blends Surface and Subsea Responses to Simulated Deepwater Blowout
- Adam Wilson (JPT Special Publications Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 2015
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 101 - 105
- 2014. International Petroleum Technology Conference
- 1 in the last 30 days
- 58 since 2007
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This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper IPTC 18215, “LULA Exercise: Testing the Oil-Spill Response to a Deep-Sea Blowout, With a Unique Combination of Surface and Subsea Response Techniques,” by C. Michel, L. Cazes, and C. Eygun, Total E&P Angola, and L. Page-Jones and J.-Y. Huet, OTRA, prepared for the 2014 International Petroleum Technology Conference, Kuala Lumpur, 10–12 December. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
To test the improved blowout-response capabilities implemented following the Deepwater Horizon accident, Total organized and ran a large exercise to check the ability to efficiently define, implement, and manage the response to a major oil spill resulting from a subsea blowout, including the mobilization of a new subsea-dispersant-injection (SSDI) device. After a year and a half of preparation, the exercise took place 13–15 November 2013.
The oil-spill-response exercise, codenamed LULA, considered a scenario in which a blowout at a water depth of 1,000 ft resulted in an uncontrolled release at 50,000 BOPD. The main objectives of the LULA exercise were
- To mobilize all the emergency and crisis units in Luanda, Angola; offshore; and in Paris
- To use all the techniques and technologies available to track an oil slick
- To mobilize the SSDI kit from Norway to Angola and to deploy it close to the well
- To deploy all the available oilspill-response equipment of Total E&P Angola
- To test the procurement of dispersant and the associated logistics
- To test the onshore response, including coastal protection, onshore cleanup, oiled-wildlife management, and waste management
During the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the injection of dispersant directly at the source of the oil leakage at seafloor level proved to be an effective technique. The technique required the deployment of an SSDI system.
After the Deepwater Horizon accident, Total was involved with a group of nine major oil and gas companies in the Subsea Well Response Project. As a result of the work of this group, two SSDI kits were manufactured and positioned in Stavanger. Total wanted to test the ability to mobilize and deploy in a timely manner the newly developed equipment, and Total E&P Angola was designated as responsible for the organization of the LULA exercise in collaboration with the Ministry of Petroleum of Angola. The SSDI kit, positioned in Norway, would be transported by air to Angola, sent offshore, and deployed.
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