Shell Hits Snags in Alaska Drilling

(MarineLink.com)
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The drill rig Kulluk and the drill ship Noble Discover leaving Vigor’s Seattle shipyard on their way for Shell’s exploratory operations in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in the Alaska Arctic. (Photo courtesy Vigor Industrial)

While much attention justifiably has been paid to the expansion of offshore energy operations in the Arctic, according to a Reuters report one of the pioneers, Shell, has hit a few snags in its long-anticipated exploration drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.
According to the news agency, heavier than expected ice in Arctic waters off Alaska will likely delay until August it exploration drilling, and according to a report in the July 11 edition of the Wall Street Journal the company is facing delays to get final approval from the U.S. Coast Guard for an oil spill containment vessel -- the same type that was used to ultimately stop the BP Gulf of Mexico blowout -- a critical piece of the plan to ensure safe Arctic drilling.
According to the Reuters report, Shell was initially scheduled to start drilling this month, in what promises to be an already tight window of opportunity.
Sea ice is "the number one reason we won't be drilling in July," a company spokesman was cited in the Reuters report.
While sea ice cover is sparse in most of the Arctic, ice off Alaska is thicker than in recent years, and that ice is melting fast, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Most of Shell's 22-vessel fleet that will drill in both seas is now sailing to Alaska, accoding to the Reuters report.

Expanding Business
The push for offshore business in the Arctic has also helped to reinvigorate the maritime business in the Pacific Northwest U.S., according to a recent report in the July 2012 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, led by Vigor Industrial.
Shell’s exploratory operations off the north coast of Alaska have presented a new opportunity for Vigor to use its expertise. Vigor has serviced both of the two rigs at the heart of Shell’s project and nearly half of the 21 support vessels involved.  “Shell has been an unbelievably good partner to work with,” said Vigor Industrial’s VP of Business, Vince Piscitello, “from the engineers to division presidents.”
Recently Vigor completed work on the Kulluk, a 266-ft by 230-ft ice-classed semi-submersible drill rig, and the Noble Discoverer, a 512-ft ice-classed drill ship. Both vessels left Vigor’s Seattle facility bound for the Arctic’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas in late June. The work included extensive environmental and safety upgrades. The Kulluk now operates with zero discharge and the Discoverer complies with the strictest air standards in the world. Vigor installed six EPODS on the Discoverer, one on each engine, which are essentially large catalytic converters removing harmful emissions.
“We deployed 500 people to work on the Discover project alone,” said Grant Fosheim of Vigor Industrial’s marketing department. “We were able to perform six months of work in ten weeks.”
Other vessels Vigor serviced for Shell’s Arctic exploratory project include the Klamath, which Vigor converted from a tanker barge to an ice-classed oil spill response vessel, and the Arctic Challenger which Vigor is converting from a deck barge to a containment system vessel. In the Portland yard, Vigor serviced the Fennica and Nordica, two ice-classed offshore support vessels owned by Arctia Offshore which will be joining Shell’s flotilla.
“Ten to 15 percent of revenues over the past year have been derived from Arctic work,” said Piscitello. There was a big push to prepare for work in the Arctic this year and last, he explained, so that percentage may drop in the next year. However, “looking into the future we expect significant growth in this area.”
 

(Sources: Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Maritime Reporter & Engineering News)

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter July 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

No Clues on Hanjin's Financial Health

Cash-strapped Hanjin Shipping Co. sources say that the negotiations with tonnage providers for lower rates are undergoing, but wouldn't say much else.   According to Korea Herald, the country's No.

DP World's H1 Volumes Rise

Ports operator DP World reported on Tuesday first-half 2016 gross container volumes up 1.2 percent on a like-for-like basis and up 2.5 percent on a reported basis.

Samil PwC Okays Hyundai's Management Improvement Plan

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is notified by Samil PwC, a local member of the global accounting firm PwC, that its 3.5 trillion won worth management improvement

Contracts

Technip Bags Woodside's Subsea Contract

Technip has been awarded a large(1) subsea contract by Woodside to support the development of the Greater Enfield Project offshore Western Australia, at a water

LNG-fueled Bulker Ordered from Korea

Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) has signed a contract to build a 50,000 dwt bulk carrier with ILSHIN LOGISTICS. The project is a collaboration between POSCO and ILSHIN

Broad Declines drag Baltic Index down

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Tuesday on lower rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels.

Shipbuilding

Keel Laying for Russia's Second Nuclear Icebreaker

Today the Baltic Shipyard in St Petersburg (part of United Shipbuilding Corporation) laid the keel of Ural, Project 22220’s second series-produced nuclear icebreaker.

Russia: 6th Yasen-Class Nuclear Sub

Russia's sixth Yasen-class nuclear submarine will be laid down at the Sevmash ship-building company in the city of Severodvinsk on July 29, reports RIA Novosti.

NASSCO Delivers Garden State to APT

Marking its seventh ship delivery in the span of just over a year, General Dynamics NASSCO has delivered the newly built ECO Class tanker Garden State for American Petroleum Tankers.

Offshore

Cambodia Urged ASEAN to Avoid Words That Escalate Tension

Cambodia advised a grouping of South East Asian nations to avoid using words that "would escalate tension between China and the Philippines" in a weekend statement,

Summer Cruise to North Sea Oil Rigs Amazes Tourists

Bored with palm-fringed beaches and turquoise seas? Then the gigantic oil platforms of the North Sea beckon. The first ever "rig-spotting" cruise just ended off the coast of Norway,

Staying Afloat Down Under?

In recent years, Australia has been a major growth area for offshore gas production and a key driver of offshore CAPEX, says Clarksons Research.   However, the

Environmental

KVH's Zika Virus Safety Video for Mariners

KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), announced today that it is offering Videotel’s new safety and training video about the Zika virus free to all mariners worldwide.

LNG-fueled Bulker Ordered from Korea

Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) has signed a contract to build a 50,000 dwt bulk carrier with ILSHIN LOGISTICS. The project is a collaboration between POSCO and ILSHIN

Long Beach Awards Sovcomflot for Green Shipping

PAO Sovcomflot earned the Green Environmental Achievement Award from California's Port of Long Beach, recognizing the shipper for its ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship.

Energy

Summer Cruise to North Sea Oil Rigs Amazes Tourists

Bored with palm-fringed beaches and turquoise seas? Then the gigantic oil platforms of the North Sea beckon. The first ever "rig-spotting" cruise just ended off the coast of Norway,

Technip Bags Woodside's Subsea Contract

Technip has been awarded a large(1) subsea contract by Woodside to support the development of the Greater Enfield Project offshore Western Australia, at a water

Staying Afloat Down Under?

In recent years, Australia has been a major growth area for offshore gas production and a key driver of offshore CAPEX, says Clarksons Research.   However, the

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1496 sec (7 req/sec)