Spill Response System & Capabilities

Building upon the equipment proven effective in the Deepwater Horizon response and HWCG’s success at assisting its consortium members to receive the 1st drilling permit issued in the US GoM after the Deepwater Horizon incident, HWCG utilizes a combination of owned and leased assets to maintain a comprehensive offshore well containment system that is always “ready to respond”. Our response system is currently capable of stopping and/or containing the flow of hydrocarbons from a subsea well in water depths up to 10,000 feet and with wellhead shut-in pressures of up to 20,000 psi. If our well capping stacks cannot close the wellbore due to downhole integrity issues, ourflow and capture system can process a flow stream of up to 130,000 BFPD and 220 MMSCFD gas.


HWCG’s primary response equipment involves two capping stacks, which are stored and maintained in a “ready to respond” condition. One is a dual Ram Capping Stack (RCS) rated to 15,000-psi and 350°F fluid flowing temperatures and one is a Valve Capping Stack (VCS) rated to 20,000-psi and fluid flowing temperatures of 350°F. . Other core components of our system include a Subsea Accumulator Manifold (SAM Unit) which can provide hydraulic power to the Ram Capping Stack, if needed, a mudline subsea dispersant injection system consisting of flying leads and a subsea manifold, a surface-mounted production system for processing the fluid stream, two distinct MODU’s which can accommodate the surface production system, and the major components of two separate Intervention Riser Systems to facilitate the flow & capture of hydrocarbons, if needed.

Storage and logistics for HWCG’s assets are managed by Gulf Freight Management located at 1755 Federal Road in East Houston. This facility provides direct access to the Gulf of Mexico via the Houston Ship Channel or nearby highways to allow for quick deployment of resources. The facility has been assessed for hurricane storm surge and is expected to remain dry in up to a direct hit from a category 4 storm. The indoor location of our core assets at GFM provides increased security and protection against normal weather conditions, and facilitates a more rapid deployment during severe weather events.
Our dedicated response headquarters at the IMR facility in Katy, TX is immediately available as a joint command center for any Source Control incident. The facility will serve as a base for operations and communication during an incident and is also home to our large annual drill that brings together our mutual aid members and Response Providers for a multi-day exercise.

HWCG's 15k psi ram capping stack (RCS)



HWCG maintains dedicated contracts with certain Response Providers to obtain specialized equipment on an immediate basis during a response. Our leased assets include Helix Energy Solution’s Q-4000 and Q5000.

Our response vessels work daily in the Gulf of Mexico, receiving seamless upgrades as new technology becomes available. Daily operation removes many of the unpredictable variables associated with idle, stacked assets, including slow startup times and unexpected maintenance or repairs. And because our Response Providers store, maintain and operate the equipment on a daily basis, they take full ownership of the process. This level of dedication far exceeds the commitment of any outside contractor typically retained for a response effort.

Additionally, the crew that will operate this equipment during an incident will be drawn from the same pool of personnel that routinely operates and trains on each piece of equipment. Familiarity with both the equipment and fellow crew members is a significant advantage during an emergency response.

Our contracted response assets include Helix's Q4000 vessel


  • No start-up delays
  • Proven plans and vetted procedures in place for all operations
  • Frequent equipment checks as our partners store, maintain and operate the gear
  • Seamless upgrades to technology and equipment
  • Tested and proven performance
  • Close collaboration with subject matter experts on their own systems
  • Addition of IMR, an experienced team of trained personnel who can mobilize quickly and initiate an efficient and seamless response

Learn more about our relationship with our service partners.


The core components of our kit adapt to fit most vessels, offering a multitude of deployment options. We engineer each piece to be easily upgraded or replaced without interfering with the rest of the system, ensuring the kit remains available and always “ready to respond”.

This modular design approach increases our flexibility to respond in a variety of scenarios and allows us to make continuous upgrades without prohibitive costs or a disruption to coverage.


  • Additional flexibility – production kit can be used on any capable vessel depending on scenario
  • Ability to make changes in the flow and capture system based upon flow rates, shut-in pressures and equipment availability at the time of an incident Assurance that Regulators are familiar with the HWCG system safety and design

Web Design by Red Room