Legal proceedings dealing with the disastrous Deepwater Horizon blowout in April 2010 are nearing an end, with BP (NYSE: BP) likely on the hook for billions of dollars in damages. Everybody remembers the months-long drama playing out, with repeated efforts to control the flow of oil ending unsuccessfully. The Macondo well continued to release thousands of barrels per day into the Gulf of Mexico until it was finally sealed.
Seared into the memories of oil executives (and regulators) around the world, there has been a greater emphasis on deep-water drilling safety in the intervening years. And that presents a big opportunity.
Capture the Oil
One of the key recommendations that came out of the Presidential commission on the Deepwater Horizon disaster called for an industry-wide coalition to address safety. Like the nuclear power industry, which collaborates on safety, the commission recognized that industry players, rather than merely being competitors, rise and fall together. Another disaster, even if it were the fault of BP, for example, would kill off drilling opportunities for all of its peers if regulators banned offshore drilling.
The industry heeded the commission’s advice and formed a little-known safety organization called the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC), based in Houston. MWCC’s mission is to provide the safety equipment needed to respond to another disaster.
Minimum standards for future offshore…