Shell’s Alaska Offshore Drilling Rigs Get Government Inspection

Published at 02:50PM - 17/07/15

Shell has received inspections on both drilling rigs due to start exploring the US Arctic waters for oil.

The US government’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) sent the inspectors to conduct ‘Pre Drill’ inspections on both the semisubmersible offshore drilling rig, the Transocean Polar Pioneer and the Arctic class drillship, the Noble Discoverer.

The inspections were carried out over the course of five days from the 7th July to 12th July.

The BSEE inspectors paid particular attention to both the offshore drilling units actual drilling equipment as well as all their safety systems.

Statements from the BSEE, showed that the inspectors also verified all environmental safety plans and equipment, including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) ’Environmental Protection Agency National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements’.

Further, the BSEE’s regional director of Alaska, Mark Fesmire conducted a personal inspection of the Shell Alaska’s ‘Capping Stack’.

The ship that has been designated the sole job of carrying the ‘Capping stack’, the Fennica had been damaged whilst leaving Alaska’s Dutch Harbour on 3rd July. All reports from Shell had claimed that the ‘Capping Stack’ had sustained no damage itself.  However, as part of the inspection the BSEE was tasked to ensure this was the case.

BSEE Conduct Inspection Of Shell Alaska Offshore Drilling Rigs

BSEE Conduct Inspection Of Shell Alaska OffshoreDrilling Rigs

In a statement, the BSEE confined that the ‘Capping Stack’ was undamaged.  The BSEE also stated that once the Arctic drilling operations start, the BSEE will have inspectors on board both drill ship and semisubmersible drilling rig around the clock, seven days a week providing ‘continuous oversight and monitoring once drilling operations commence”.