Shell gets OSPR plan approval on Chukchi Sea drilling

Offshore staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has approved Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc.’s Oil Spill Response Plan (OSRP) for the Chukchi Sea.

Shell (RDS.A:NYSE) still must get governmental approval for well-specific drilling permits before operations can begin. Shell has proposed drilling up to six wells in the Chukchi Sea during the next two summer open water seasons within the Burger Prospect about 70 mi (113 km) off the coast in approximately 140 ft (43 m) of water. 

Shell was required to prepare for a worst case discharge nearly five times that of their previous plan, to include planning for adverse weather conditions, and to develop special equipment and strategies for response to a loss of well control and a spill. 

Shell has committed to emergency contingencies including the availability of a capping stack to shut off any flow of oil if other shut-off systems fail;  the capability to capture and collect oil from that stack; and access to a rig capable of drilling a relief well.


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