No injuries in Noble Discoverer fire

Offshore staff

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A small fire broke out on the Noble Discoverer drillship Nov. 16 while the rig was in port in Alaska, according to Reuters.

The vessel is under contract to Shell for drilling operations in the Chukchi Sea. The fire, caused by what a Shell spokesman described as “a loud engine backfire,” was extinguished by the crew and caused no injuries, the news service said.

Shell’s Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith told Reuters that the drillship had completed seasonal drilling operations October 31 and was in the Aleutian Island port of Dutch Harbor on its way to a site where it will spend the winter.

The Noble Discoverer has been conducting top-hole drilling at Shell’s Burger prospect. The company’s plans to drill to oil-bearing depths in the 2012 season were shelved earlier this year when federal regulators determined that Shell’s spill response plans were insufficient.


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