The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has given approval to Royal Dutch Shell PLC to drill to total depth the Burger J exploratory well in the Chukchi Sea following the arrival of a capping stack staged on the M/V Fennica vessel.
Shell received approval in July to drill only the top sections of the well, but was prohibited from drilling into oil-bearing zones until a capping stack was present and deployable within 24 hr (OGJ Online, July 23, 2015). The company on Aug. 6 submitted a plan to modify the Burger J application for permit to drill.
“Now that the required well control system is in place and can be deployed, Shell will be allowed to explore into oil-bearing zones for Burger J,” said Brian Salerno, BSEE director.
Shell remains limited to the top section of the Burger V well since the prospects lie fewer than 15 miles apart. The company has until late September to drill both wells.