Shell's Alaska investment nears $4 billion, more confident on exploration
Shell Oil’s investment in its Arctic offshore exploration will reach the $4 billion threshold sometime this fall, but the company is now more optimistic than ever that it will receive the needed permits to do exploration drilling in 2012.
The company will make a “go or no-go” decision at the end of October, Shell vice president Pete Slaiby told the Alaska Support Industry Alliance Sept. 8, but the company is now more confident and has started the mobilization of a fleet of 24 support vessels that will be needed in addition to two large drilling vessels.
Plans are for one vessel, the Kulluk, to drill up to two exploration wells in the Beaufort Sea and for the drilling Discover to drill up to three wells
in the Chukchi Sea in 2012. Similar drilling programs are planned for 2012, Slaiby said.
Of the company’s soon-to-be $4 billion investment, about $2.1 billion was paid to the federal government in a 2008 Outer Continental Shelf Chukchi Sea lease sale.