Critical containment gear damaged in final tests as drilling deadline looms
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — After a whirlwind summer of drilling, melting sea ice and failed safety tests, Shell Oil has backed of plans to tap into oil beneath the Chukchi Sea, at least for this year.
In a final setback, the company’s containment equipment was damaged, resulting in another delay that brought Shell too close to the Sept. 24 deadline for oil drilling.
“It is clear that some days will be required to repair and fully assess dome readiness. We are disappointed that the dome has not yet met our stringent acceptance standards; but, as we have said all along, we will not conduct any operation until we are satisfied that we are fully prepared to do it safely,” Shell said in a statement, adding that it plans to continue preparatory drilling. (more…)