Bloomberg News

Shell Says U.S. Drilling Rig to Stay Shut for Weeks After Leak

December 20, 2011

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, said a rig will stay shut for weeks after spilling 319 barrels of drilling fluid into the Gulf of Mexico.

The company suspended work at the Appomattox discovery, which leaked synthetic and biodegradable drilling mud from a booster line, Shell said. The leak was isolated, stopped and remedial action has been approved by the regulator, it said. The company temporarily abandoned the well.

Drilling will resume when Shell and relevant government agencies “are confident that the necessary repairs have been made and the operations can continue safely, which is likely to be in a matter of weeks,” Jonathan French, a London-based spokesman at the company, said in an emailed statement.

The Anglo-Dutch company was drilling the development well following approval from the U.S. government of its two exploration plans in May, the first since BP Plc’s spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Shell holds 80 percent of the Appomattox prospect with Nexen Inc. of Canada holding the rest.

Shell and Nexen announced the discovery in the deepwater eastern part of the Gulf in March 2010. The partners have partly appraised the field and estimate that it holds more than 250 million barrels of resources, according to Nexen estimates.

--Editors: Alex Devine, Stephen Cunningham

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at egismatullin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net


Race, Class, and the Future of Ferguson
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW

(enter your email)
(enter up to 5 email addresses, separated by commas)

Max 250 characters

 
blog comments powered by Disqus