The Bureau of Ocean Management, Regulation and Enforcement has issued a notice requesting public comments on Shell’s oil discharge prevention and contingency plan for the exploration well that the company wants to drill in the Beaufort Sea during the 2011 open water season. The agency wants comments on both the contingency plan and some associated information by Dec. 23.
In early October Shell submitted to BOEMRE an application to drill a single well in the company’s Beaufort Sea Sivulliq prospect. Shell has subsequently submitted a revised Beaufort Sea exploration plan to BOEMRE in association with the drilling permit application. BOEMRE has said that it is conducting a supplementary environmental assessment for the revised exploration plan — the review of Shell’s spill contingency plan is presumably associated with that environmental assessment.
According to the BOEMRE notice for the supplementary environmental assessment, Shell’s revised exploration plan proposes using a barge to collect waste such as drilling cuttings and sanitary waste from the drilling vessel, rather than discharging this waste into the sea. The barge would subsequently transport the waste out of the Arctic for disposal, the notice says.
See more in the Dec. 19 edition of Petroleum News, available online to subscribers on Friday, Dec. 17 by 11 a.m.