Problems with a Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A) drilling rig that broke loose several days ago and drifted to shore have created bigger headaches for the oil firm than it might have expected, given that the situation was isolated.
However, the Department of the Interior sees the incident, and several others, differently. Because of this incident, some Shell production could be slowed or even halted. The Interior Department reported:
As part of its continued commitment to rigorous oversight of oil and gas activities in the Arctic, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the Department has launched an expedited, high-level assessment of the 2012 offshore drilling program in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas to review practices and identify challenges as well as lessons learned. The review, which is expected to be completed within 60 days, will pay special attention to challenges that Shell encountered in connection with certification of its containment vessel, the Arctic Challenger; the deployment of its containment dome; and operational issues associated with its two drilling rigs, the Noble Discoverer and the Kulluk.