HOUSTON – The US Department of the Interior (DoI) has approved Royal Dutch Shell's applications to drill in the Chukchi Sea, but with a built-in stop concerning the availability of a capping stack.
The DoI also said Shell could not drill both wells concurrently, but must P&A to top section of the first well before any drilling activity on the second.
Shell cannot drill into the reserves until a capping stack is posted for use, should it be needed. Then, Shell will have to submit a modified drilling plan to drilling into the target zone.
The initial capping stack aboard the Fennica was damaged earlier this month. That vessel is to be repaired in Oregon.