Last night, Rachel Maddow reported on the Coast Guard investigation of the Noble Discoverer, one of the drill ships being used by Shell for offshore drilling in the Arctic. The Discoverer, built in 1966 and refurbished a couple times, last in 2009, was cited for 16 violations of safety and operational standards. The most disturbing to me were the non-operative self closing doors that protect the crew quarters during emergencies such as fire or hull damage. Since Shell is considered by many in the industry as the gold standard in the offshore, the mishaps and safety violations that have plagued both the Discoverer and the other rig being used, the Kulluk, is somewhat surprising.
I advised TRMS producers as they developed this story. Have a look:
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