Federal Review Criticizes Shell's 2012 Arctic Drilling
Report says most significant shortcomings were in contractor management and oversight
ANCHORAGE - A review of Shell’s 2012 operations in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas by the Department of Interior confirmed the oil company entered the drilling season without being fully prepared.
The review team said additional precautions—like the use of multiple towlines—should have been taken during the winter tow operation where Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig ended up grounded off Kodiak Island.
The report said the most significant shortcomings were in the area of contractor management and oversight.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said drilling off the coast of Alaska isn’t something to be taken lightly.
“We have also said we need to go forward with utmost caution in the Arctic and we need to do so safely and responsibly and in a way that respects the unique environmental considerations of the arctic and its community,” said Salazar.
Shell has put 2013 drilling plans on hold, which Salazar said is a good idea. “Shell should take this time to learn the lessons from last year and follow the recommendations set forth in this report. I'm confident this reports provides important insights that will help further our commitment to safe and responsible exploration.”