SEATTLE, Washington – The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) says Shell successfully deployed and tested its emergency capping stack in Puget Sound.
The testing was done in 200 ft (61 m) water depth. That is deeper than the proposed Arctic drilling sites Shell seeks permission to spud.
If the drilling permits are approved, Shell will keep the capping stack ready to deploy on the Fennica icebreaker, which would be stationed mid-way between the proposed drill sites in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.
Before those permits are issued, Shell has a number of additional demonstrations regarding emergency response that BSEE must approve. BSEE already has approved Shell’s oil spill response plans for both the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, but Shell must still obtain approval from BSEE for well-specific drilling permits prior to commencing operations.
Shell has requested approval to drill two exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea and three exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea this summer.