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Has Shell also shelved its Alaskan Drilling plans for 2014?

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 20.09.51SPECULATION BY AN OFFSHORE DRILLING EXPERT 

RE: ConocoPhillips delays 2014 Arctic marine drilling
 
The rules for working in Alaska require two rigs in the area for drilling to take place, so that in the event of an emergency and the loss of one rig, another rig is available to drill a relief well.
 
Shell met this requirement by having the Kulluk and Discoverer in Alaska.
 
ConocoPhillips’ announcement that they will not be in the Arctic in 2014 throws up a few issues.
 
Shell cannot now plan to drill with a single vessel in Alaska in 2014, and would require a two vessel programme as in 2012.
 
(1)    Does the announcement by ConocoPhillips mean that ConocoPhillips have been told that there will not be a second rig in the area? (ie has Shell also shelved its plans for 2014?)
 
(2)    Would Shell dare to return with the same two vessels? Are Shell planning to build new vessel(s) – perhaps for use in 2015 or 2016?

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