A consortium set up after the 2010 BP spill to develop methods for containing deep-sea spills is conducting a test of its state-of-the-art equipment with federal regulators looking on.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said the drill began Tuesday morning.
The Houston-based Marine Well Containment Company is moving a capping stack it has developed to a test wellhead that sits about 7,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
Once in place, regulators say the system will be pressurized to see how it works in conditions it would be called upon in the event of a real oil spill.
The capping stack being deployed is similar to the one BP used to stop the flow of oil from its out-of-control well in the summer of 2010.