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Shell Alaska News and Events

Shell begins drilling in the Chukchi Sea

Shell is pleased to announce today, September 9 2012, that crews aboard the Noble Discoverer began drilling at Shell’s “Burger” prospect in the Chukchi Sea.

The occasion is historic. 

It’s the first time a drill bit has touched the sea floor in the U.S. Chukchi Sea in more than two decades.  Today marks the culmination of Shell’s six-year effort to explore for potentially significant oil and gas reserves, which are believed to lie under Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf.

In the days to come, drilling will continue in the Chukchi Sea, and we will prepare for drilling to commence in the Beaufort Sea. 

This is an exciting time for Alaska and for Shell. 

We look forward to continued drilling progress throughout the next several weeks and to adding another chapter to Alaska’s esteemed oil and gas history.  We’re proud to be offshore Alaska, and we’re extremely proud of the preparation we’ve put in place to do it right.

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In the Arctic, the foundational well -- also called a top hole - starts with a 20-by-40 foot area excavated into the seafloor called the mud-line cellar.