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October 31, 2012 --- Vol. 18, No. 83October 2012

Shell ends its 2012 Arctic drilling season

Shell has ended its 2012 drilling season in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas, company spokesman Curtis Smith announced today. Under the terms of the company’s approved exploration plans drilling had to finish by Oct. 31. Smith said that the company has drilled the top sections of the Burger-A well in the Chukchi Sea and the Sivulliq well in the Beaufort Sea, and that these top holes will position Shell for a successful drilling program in 2013.

“In support of 2012 drilling, Shell deployed numerous assets and rotated hundreds of employees to the Arctic for the first time in 20 years,” Smith said. “We are very pleased with the work we accomplished this year and look forward to picking up where we left off when the sea ice retreats in 2013.”

Shell had originally planned to complete several wells in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas this year. However, delays in the deployment of the oil containment barge that forms part of the company’s oil spill response fleet caused the company to trim back its plans to the drilling of top hole sections of wells, above any hydrocarbon bearing zones. The company has said that the drilling of a top hole typically accounts for more than half of the total drilling time for the type of well it plans for its Alaska exploration program.

—Alan Bailey

See story in Nov. 4 issue, available online on Friday, Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. at www.PetroleumNews.com

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