In a statement early this morning Royal Dutch Shell said that after damage to its arctic containment system aboard the Arctic Challenger barge, it would drill only top holes at its prospects in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska this year.
Shell said that it had successfully completed a series of tests of the arctic containment system over the last several days, but during a final test the containment dome aboard the Arctic Challenger was damaged.
“It is clear that some days will be required to repair and fully access dome readiness,” Shell said.
“We are disappointed that the dome has not yet met our stringent acceptance standards; but, as we have said all along, we will not conduct any operation until we are satisfied that we are fully prepared to do it safely,” the company said.
Shell said it would not drill into hydrocarbon zones this year, but would begin as many top holes as possible in the remaining season.
Shell said those top holes would be caped and temporarily abandoned.
See story in Sept. 23 issue, available online on Friday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. at www.PetroleumNews.com