Already positioned near the Arctic prospects, he said, is the third line of defense â¿¿ a capping stack. The device looks like a giant spark plug and is designed to provide a metal-to-metal seal on a malfunctioning blowout preventer. The capping stack, he said, could be used to send drilling mud down a hole, simply stopping petroleum flow, or direct oil, gas and water to the surface. It was the most significant change to Shell's safety program after BP's Deepwater Horizon blowout at the Macondo prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, Smith said."The capping stack is modeled after the same one that ultimately stopped the most prolific offshore blowout in the history of North America," he said. "We modified it. We made it Arctic-ready."
Shell's Safety System Problems Plague Arctic Plans
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