|Off Barrow Alaska|
After plunking down more than $2.5 billion for drilling rights in U.S. Arctic waters, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips and other companies have quietly relinquished claims they once hoped would net the next big oil discovery. The pullout comes as crude oil prices have plummeted to less than half their June 2014 levels, forcing oil companies to slash spending. For Shell and ConocoPhillips, the decision to abandon Arctic acreage was formalized just before a May 1 due date to pay the U.S. government millions of dollars in rent to keep holdings in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska. The U.S. Arctic is estimated to hold 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, but energy companies have struggled to tap resources buried below icy waters at the top of the globe. Shell last year ended a nearly $8 billion, mishap-marred quest for Arctic crude after disappointing results from a test well in the Chukchi Sea. Shell.
Norway is opening more of the Barents Sea off its northern tip to oil explorers as it seeks to boost national crude production that’s dropped by half since 2000. The government plans to award licenses before the summer in the Barents Sea Southeast, an area disputed by Russia until a 2010 border agreement, which includes the northernmost blocks ever offered by Norway. It’s attracted interest from international explorers just as other parts of the Arctic, such as Alaska and Greenland, are relinquished amid a collapse in oil prices
[September 29 2015 Noble Discoverer: The Hillary thing ]
Royal Dutch Shell's abrupt announcement that it would cease all offshore drilling in the Arctic is surprising for several reasons. One is the unusual degree of confidence the company expressed as recently as mid-August that it had identified 15 billion barrels of oil beneath the well known as Burger J it's now abandoning. More significant than the immediate environmental activism is Shell's concern about who will oversee Arctic regulation come January 2017. In August, Hillary Clinton made her first major break with President Obama over the environment, announcing that she opposed Arctic drilling. "Given what we know, it's not worth the risk," Clinton said on Twitter. Despite the candidate's current struggle to shake off primary foe Senator Bernie Sanders, Shell may fear that a Clinton presidency would doom its chancy northern exploration.
it continues to hold 275 Outer Continental lease blocks. Indeed, Marvin Odum, director of Shell Upstream Americas, said in the written statement that the company "continues to see important exploration potential in the basin, and the area is likely to ultimately be of strategic importance to Alaska and the U.S."
[September 2 Noble Discoverer disconnected in the Chukchi Sea
Noble Discoverer semisubmersible has been disconnected from its anchors in the Chukchi Sea by Shell after weather temporary put a halt to its Arctic operations over the weekend. Shell had received approval at the end of July to only drill into the top sections of the Burger J and Burger V wells, Shell was prohibited from conducting simultaneous drilling activity at Burger J and Burger V. Shell must plug and abandon the top section of the first well before proceeding with any drilling activity at the second well site. read and more
[August 20 Burger J: Fennica with capping stack to contain any potential spill, on site near Chukchi]
The drill rig Polar Pioneer has been at work at Burger J since July 30, but was prohibited from drilling to oil-bearing depths until the Fennica, a vessel carrying a capping stack to contain any potential spill, was on site, and it arrived at Burger J on Aug. 12.
[May 15 Polar Pioneer , Marshall Is-flag , High Specification Semi-Submersible rig, for Chukchi
|Transocean Polar Pioneer|
Activists expect a large turnout May 16, when a flotilla rally is scheduled against the Polar Pioneer’s presence in Seattle. Another big event is planned for May 18 near Terminal 5. Kayaks May 14 threw an “unwelcome party”.The Port is leasing Terminal 5 to Foss under a two-year, $13 million agreement. Foss plans to load drilling equipment and supplies for the summer onto the Polar Pioneer and the Noble Discoverer, a 514-foot-long drill ship now docked in Everett. "That rig is freaky big and scary,” a protester said.
[February 21 NOBLE DISCOVERER: Plans to drill in the Chukchi]
Shell has not given up on the Noble Discoverer or plans to drill in the Chukchi.
[March 2 2012]
|Shipyard for arctic modifications|
On February 26 Lucy Lawless, the actress who played Xena, [--b. 1968, 2011 Hunted: The Demon's Forge (Video Game) Seraphine (voice)] and six other Greenpeace activists illegally boarded a drilling ship leased to Shell Oil off New Zealand's western shore.
Lawless and the other activists have "occupied" the drillship to prevent it from departing on a "6,000 nautical mile journey from New Zealand to the remote Arctic to start an exploratory oil drilling program that threatens to devastate the Alaskan coastline,"
Length x Breadth: 156 m X 26 m
Gross Tonnage: 13485, DeadWeight: 15296 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 5.7 / 5.4 knots
Flag: Liberia [LR]
Call Sign: A8XM6
IMO: 6608608, MMSI: 636014934
Ex Names History
Vessel's Name Flag Call Sign Last Reported
NOBLE DISCOVERER Liberia A8XM6 2012-02-25 22:48
FRONTIER DISCOVERER Panama 3FUS2 2010-08-17 07:17
DISCOVERER 511 2001-08-29 00:00
OFFSTAR 1982-04-18 00:00
JESSICA 1973-12-31 00:00
MATSUSHIRO MARU 1971-12-31 00:00
Rig Data: Noble Discoverer
Rig Name: Noble Discoverer
Rig Manager: Noble Drilling
Rig Owner: Noble Drilling
Competitive Rig: Yes
Rig Type: Drillship
Drillship Type: Turret Moored
Rig Design: Sonat Discoverer Class Rated Water Depth: 2,500 ft
Drilling Depth: 20,000 ft