Statoil may halt plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea off of northwest Alaska citing the risks and costs.  In an interview at CERAWeek yesterday, EVP Tim Dodson said,

“Ultimately, you need more of a collaborative effort,” Dodson said in an interview. “I think we all agree that generically, this is not really the place to go it alone. This is the place where you need to be learning from each other (and) where you need to be sharing both experiences and sharing facilities and common costs.”

Statoil has decided to watch what happens with the Shell Arctic wells before they make a final decision about letting their leases go.

Fuel Fix » Statoil may abandon US Arctic drilling leases.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement approved Shell to begin operations in he Beaufort Sea.  Operations include drilling mudline cellars, as well as shallow strings of pipe.  Drilling to hydroarbon bearing zones will wait until next year.   BSEE Authorizes Shell Preparatory Activities in Beaufort Sea | BSEE.

The company also announced that it was moving the Noble Discoverer back onto the Burger A well in the Chukchi Sea.

Shell Reports That Sea Ice is Moving off of Burger

Shell reported today that sea ice is finally moving away from the Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea. No word on when drilling will resume.

Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis | Sea ice data updated daily with one-day lag.

The media is reporting that Shell announced this morning that they are abandoning drilling in the Arctic until this year.  I’m not reading their statement that way.  Shell is not abandoning its drilling program; their approved “tophole” operations are continuing as cleared by the Department of Interior.  Read the rest of this entry

Shell announced yesterday that it began drilling its Burger prospect 70 miles offshore Alaska’s northwest coast that morning at 8:30 am eastern time.  The drillship Noble Discoverer is being used for this prospect, which is in about 150 feet of water.  The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) gave the go-ahead to Shell on August 30 after years of planning, legal challenges, and great environmental concern.  The environmental concern, obviously, continues. Read the rest of this entry