Shell's Arctic setbacks: one thing after the other.

FT: Shell’s Arctic exploration programme is reliant on passing tests by US regulators later this month to check that equipment on its Challenger barge can contain an oil leak by processing oil and gas escaping from a well on the sea-bed. Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig meanwhile has run aground on an island off the south coast of Alaska, after the vessel towing it to Seattle for maintenance lost power during a storm. “Last week, Noble Corporation, the drilling contractor, revealed that the US Coast Guard had raised concerns over “deficiencies and maintenance issues” on the Noble Discoverer, Shell’s other rig in the Arctic. ….Shell said it still hoped to begin its drilling programme in July, ice conditions permitting. The company is excited about the potential for large oil discoveries in the region. ….Last summer, Shell failed to secure permits to drill into oil-bearing rocks because its containment system – described by the company as a “fourth line of defence” in the event of a spill – failed to win approval from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the US regulator. / When the equipment was being tested in September, it suffered an electrical fault in a valve and the dome was accidentally dropped deep into the water, with part of it “crushed like a beer can”, in the words of a BSEE official in an email obtained by a Seattle radio station.”
JL: As someone once said, its just one damn thing after another.