Federal Review Outlines Breakdowns in Shell’s Arctic Exploration

A federal review faults Shell Oil’s oversight of contractors in its Arctic drilling program.

Yesterday, the Department of Interior released a high-level review of Shell’s 2012 drilling activity off Alaska’s Northern Coast.


Setbacks prevented Shell from completing any more than two top holes in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.


Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Tommy Beaudreau, who lead the 60-day review, says the experience shows the importance of a plan integrating all phases of Arctic activity.


Beaudreau: “So before Shell proposes resumption of its Arctic program, the report recommends that the company submit to the Department of Interior, a comprehensive integrated plan that describes every phase of its operation. Including, who its working with, how its preparing for the operation, its goals while in theater, in the drilling operation, all the way through demobilization.”


The review also calls for an audit of Shell’s contractors.


Shell has put its Arctic exploration on “pause” for this year, while both rigs used in the Arctic last fall are being sent to Asia for repairs.


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