NEW YORK – July 6, 2011 – Holland & Knight represented the AET Group, one of the world's largest operators of petroleum tankers, in connection with its recently signed 20-year contract to supply two modular capture vessels to the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC), a consortium of major oil companies, including BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Shell, formed to implement an emergency response system in the event of a deepwater well control incident in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, similar to that involving offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon.
Under the agreement, AET will modify two of its new aframax tankers to serve as modular capture vessels, available on short notice to collect hydrocarbon fluids from a well for disposal ashore in the event of an incident. The MWCC well control system is specially designed to cap an out-of-control well at water depths of up to 10,000 feet. When not in service to MWCC, the vessels will be used in AET's normal commercial operations, including lightering operations.
Holland & Knight partner Vincent Foley led the negotiations. Partners Jovi Tenev and Richard Crowley advised on corporate, finance and tax issues. They were supported by associates Nana Prempeh and Lissa Schaupp. All reside in the firm's New York office.