Shell releases summer plans for Arctic
A month-long comment period started last week on Royal Dutch Shell's plans for Arctic exploration in 2015 after federal regulators said Shell's submitted drill plans are complete.
The plans, submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, outline everything from its plans for dealing with solid waste and discharge to where it will stage personnel onshore and vessels offshore, factors that could impact life in many Arctic communities in 2015.
Shell hopes to drill six wells in the Burger Prospect in 2015 using the Noble Discoverer, which was in the Arctic in 2012, and the Polar Pioneer, a semisubmersible mobile offshore drilling unit that will be towed into position in the Arctic. Both rigs have some degree of ice rating, with the Noble Discoverer rated to operate in up to one and a half feet of ice and the Polar Pioneer rated to travel in ice-infested waters.