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Shell plans to tow drill vessels to Asia for major repairs

Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 10.54.45The Kulluk, a 266-foot diameter, 30-year-old circular drilling rig, had been mothballed in Canada for a dozen years before Shell bought it in 2005 for an untold sum and invested $292 million in upgrades and retrofitting. The 514-foot-long Noble Discoverer is even older, built in 1966 and converted into a drilling ship 10 years later. 

February 11, 2013

By LISA DEMER — [email protected]

In another costly setback for Royal Dutch Shell’s controversial Alaska Arctic endeavor, both drilling rigs used offshore during last year’s oil exploration season will be towed out of the water on massive vessels to Asia for further inspection and repair, Shell announced Monday.

The decision suggests the Kulluk and the Noble Discoverer — Shell’s only drilling rigs for the Arctic — need major work and calls into further question whether Shell will be able to resume drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas this year. Two federal investigations are under way into Shell’s Alaska operations. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell Vessels Sidelined, Imperiling Arctic Plans

In another blow to its Alaskan Arctic drilling program, Royal Dutch Shell said on Monday that it had decided to tow its two drill vessels there to Asian ports for major repairs, jeopardizing its plans to begin drilling for oil in the icy northern seas next summer. Shell executives said the Kulluk had sustained damage to its hull…”; “The Noble Discoverer dragged its anchor last July and nearly ran aground on the Alaska coast, and four months later it was damaged by an explosion and fire…

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By A version of this article appeared in print on February 12, 2013, on page B1 of the New York edition

HOUSTON — In another blow to its Alaskan Arctic drilling program, Royal Dutch Shell said on Monday that it had decided to tow its two drill vessels there to Asian ports for major repairs, jeopardizing its plans to begin drilling for oil in the icy northern seas next summer.

The new potential delay in drilling does not necessarily doom Shell’s seven-year, $4.5 billion quest to open a new oil frontier in the far north, but it may strengthen the position of environmentalists who have repeatedly sued to stop or postpone exploration that they claim carries the risks of a spill nearly impossible to clean up. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.
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