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Shell Starts Exploratory Drilling in Beaufort Sea, Alaska

Shell has kicked off exploratory drilling at its prospect in the Beaufort Sea, offshore Alaska, the company yesterday announced on its website.

On October 3, 2012, at approximately 2:45PM AKDT, the Kulluk began drilling at Shell’s Sivulliq prospect. Shell has noted that the occasion is historic in that it’s the first time two rigs have been drilling simultaneously offshore Alaska in over two decades. The Noble Discoverer has been drilling at Shell’s Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea since September.

“In the weeks ahead we look forward to operating safely and responsibly, putting Americans to work and adding to Shell’s long, successful history of drilling offshore Alaska,” said Pete Slaiby, VP Alaska.

Bought by Shell in 2005, the Kulluk was specifically designed and constructed for extended season drilling operations in Arctic waters.

Shell Starts Exploratory Drilling in Beaufort Sea, Alaska| Offshore Energy Today.

VIDEO: Shell Starts Drilling in Chukchi Sea, Alaska

 

VIDEO: Shell Starts Drilling in Chukchi Sea, Alaska| Offshore Energy Today

Shell Alaska yesterday began drilling operations at its Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, offshore Alaska. The Noble Discoverer drillship is being used for the operations.

“The occasion is historic. It’s the first time a drill bit has touched the sea floor in the U.S. Chukchi Sea in more than two decades. Today marks the culmination of Shell’s six-year effort to explore for potentially significant oil and gas reserves, which are believed to lie under Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf. In the days to come, drilling will continue in the Chukchi Sea, and we will prepare for drilling to commence in the Beaufort Sea,” said the company in a press release.

VIDEO: Shell Starts Drilling in Chukchi Sea, Alaska| Offshore Energy Today.

 

USA: ABS to Class Unique Arctic Containment System

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The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has announced it will class the first-of-its-kind Arctic Containment System (ACS), which will serve all exploration activities in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas offshore Alaska. The ACS will be deployed in June 2012.

ABS explains that a modular oil containment system will be installed on the deck of the non self-propelled ice-strengthened barge following its conversion to a floating offshore installation  The dedicated barge will remain unmanned and on standby until deployed. Then, assisted by a tugboat, its trained crew will be able to respond to an oil spill incident in the exploration areas in a matter of days.

Shell has plans to drill up to six exploration wells off the coast of Alaska, later this year and has contracted with Superior Energy, the operator of the ACS, for the containment system to be available during the summer drilling season. The containment system would be able to mitigate spillage in the time it takes to drill an intervention well.

The oil giant’s Arctic drilling plans have been facing strong opposition from environmental activists. Today, twenty Greenpeace activists boarded two icebreakers leased by Shell from Finland’s Arctia Offshore. Shell has leased the vessels to support its upcoming drilling operations offshore Alaska.

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