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Shell Submits Exploration Plan for Camden Bay
Shell has officially submitted a Plan of Exploration (POE) that details company plans to drill exploratory wells in the Camden Bay area of the Beaufort Sea beginning in 2012. The formal submission to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) is specifically for the shallow waters of Camden Bay and starts in motion the regulatory process necessary to commence summer drilling. A separate Plan of Exploration for the Chukchi Sea will be submitted in the very near future.
"We believe the conversations we are having with regulators and government officials are more positive in view of the safeguards we have put in place, even prior to the Macondo incident,” said Shell Alaska Vice President, Pete Slaiby. “As a result, we are cautiously optimistic we will be allowed to pursue a multi-well drilling program in 2012 as we have always planned."
Shell‘s Beaufort and Chukchi Sea Plans of Exploration include drilling multiple wells in both basins; up to four wells over two years in the Beaufort Sea and up to six wells over two years in the Chukchi Sea. These programs will be executed using up to two drill ships, one potentially in each sea; allowing Shell to begin to exploring its Alaska prospects in parallel after five years of delay.
Shell has taken extraordinary steps to build confidence around our exploration programs. We stand ready to deploy the most robust Arctic oil spill response system known to industry and, in accordance with the BOEMRE’s requirements, Shell has shown that our oil spill response capability exceeds our calculated worst-case discharge volume for the wells being proposed.
Additionally, Shell remains committed to fabricating an oil spill capping system, which is designed to capture hydrocarbons at the source in the extremely unlikely event of a shallow water blowout. The capping system will remain staged in Alaska to allow for rapid deployment.
As in years past, Shell will employ world-class technology and experience to ensure a safe, environmentally responsible Arctic exploration program – one that has the smallest possible footprint on the environment and no negative impact on North Slope or Northwest Arctic traditional subsistence hunting activities. We look forward to drilling in 2012 and validating what we believe is a valuable national resource base.