I would have thought they would have left earlier. I work for Statoil and we were going to drill a well there too. As I understand, you can only drill in the summer for a few months. Wild weather we get here in Norway, but no floating ice. We have been waiting two weeks now to pull anchors on a rig. Finally got a weather window.
Ahhh the good old days of North Sea Saturation diving with Taylor Diving Co. ‘70’s and 80’s a golden era of diving.
They got in exactly one day of drilling this season before they left. Many things went wrong including multiple delays in permits.
Drifting sea ice halts Shell’s Arctic drilling
Royal Dutch Shell halted drilling in the Chukchi Sea on Monday — one day after it began — because of sea ice moving toward the company’s drill ship off Alaska.
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Shell learning about the Arctic the hard way
Six years and about $5 billion into its quest for Arctic oil, Shell still struggles to overcome the obstacles of this forbidding frontier, where the cold locks up machines and blankets of fog sometime keep planes out of the sky for days at a time.
Despite exhaustive planning and simulation of the work to come, problems started even before Shell’s drilling units arrived. First, stubborn sea ice clung to Alaska’s shores, preventing Shell’s ships from cruising to their shallow-water drill sites. Then, the Discoverer dragged its anchors and briefly floated out of control near Dutch Harbor. Later, Shell confessed it couldn’t satisfy some terms of an air-pollution permit governing the Discoverer. And finally, after months of construction delays, the company’s first-of-its-kind oil spill containment barge was damaged during certification tests.
Although oil companies punched nearly three dozen wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas between 1982 and 1997, Shell’s latest Arctic venture is the first bid to find crude underneath these waters in decades and the first since the Gulf oil spill focused new scrutiny on the safety of offshore drilling.
In its return to the Arctic, Shell navigated around such obstacles as low-hanging fog and floating ice while managing more than two dozen ships and the logistics of deploying, feeding and boarding hundreds of workers at a time.
Just days after Shell left its half-finished Chukchi and Beaufort Sea wells for the winter, the company is preparing to make changes because of the lessons it learned this summer.