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Shell Alaska News and Events

Drillship Discoverer Drifts While Anchored Near Dutch Harbor

On July 14, 2012, while anchored off the coast of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, the Noble Discoverer drill ship drifted toward land.

Shell quickly engaged one of its support vessels, the Lauren Foss, which safely towed the Discoverer back to its previous location.

A ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) inspection of the Discoverer found no indication that the ship was damaged or ran aground.   As a precaution, a dive team will conduct another inspection.

The Noble Discoverer is currently anchored off the coast of Dutch Harbor with the Lauren Foss on standby and towlines connected.

The ship’s anchor, which is used to secure the drill ship just off the coast, is very different from the eight-anchor [PES] spread mooring system used during drilling operations.

Our goal remains flawless operations.  Shell and Noble Drilling take all incidents very seriously.  Even a “near miss” is unacceptable.  While an internal investigation will determine why the Discoverer slipped anchor, we are pleased with the speed and effectiveness of the mitigation measures we had in place.

Any lessons from this incident will be applied to future operations, here and elsewhere.

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