Shell exec has eyes set to the North
Royal Dutch Shell (ticker: RDSA) is preparing to return to the Arctic and begin exploring for the first time since 2012, according to Chief Financial
Officer Simon Henry. Henry said the oil major is preparing “an armada of 25 vessels” to begin a two-year program to explore two to three wells in the Chukchi Sea of the coast of Alaska, reports Reuters.
Shell pulled out of the Arctic in 2012 after the drill vessel Kulluk ran aground off an island near Kodiak as it was being towed across the Gulf of Alaska. Shell drilled pilot holes and dug mudline cellars in both the Chukchi and the Beaufort seas prior to leaving the region.
Shell submitted plans to explore the Arctic to the U.S. Department of Interior after the Obama administration upheld a 2008 Arctic lease sale, clearing a hurtle for the company. “We are currently on track,” said Henry. “Some of the permits are issued at the last moment.”
The 25 ship armada will provide the necessary equipment to deal with any mishaps, which Henry said are a “very low probability.” The company’s new plans call for two ships, the Noble Discoverer and the Polar Pioneer, owned by Transocean Ltd. (ticker: RIG), to drill and provide relief to each other in case of an accident. The additional vessels would provide support, according to the Associated Press.
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