Transocean Polar Pioneer Ditched By Shell

Published at 09:50AM - 28/12/15

Transocean, has confirmed that its Polar Pioneer harsh environment semisubmersible drilling rig has had its contract cancelled with Shell.

The Swiss based offshore drilling firm, confirmed the news Monday (28th Dec), stating that it would be compensated by Shell for the early termination through a lump sum payment.

The Polar Pioneer had been due to stay on hire with Shell until July 2017, however it has now been demobilised back to Europe by the heavy lift semisubmersible vessel, the Dockwise Vanguard.

Transocean Polar Pioneer

The Transocean Polar Pioneer had been leased by the oil and gas super major, to work on its Arctic drilling campaign earlier in the year.  However, back in September, Shell announced it was cancelling all further Arctic exploration for the foreseeable future, after the early results proved little oil and gas reserves.

Shell’s Arctic endeavours, had cost the firm an eye watering US$7 billion, and a lot of negative press attention from environmental groups. 

Charity Donation

Before the drilling rigs demobilisation, the crew donated around 15 tonnes of food stores to charities and food banks local to the Washington state’s Port Angeles. The port was being used by Shell as a base for its arctic explorations.

The donation was estimated by the charities to be worth around US$40,000.