By PETER PUXLEY: Tues., Oct. 25, 2016
Shell Oil’s Stena IceMAX drill ship, drilling for oil on March 5th, two kilometres below the surface of the Atlantic on the edge of the Scotian Shelf, was the site of what regulators euphemistically call an “incident.”
Battling unexpectedly high waves, the drill ship crew successfully secured the well and disconnected the ship from the wellhead to protect the operation. Shortly after, the riser, a 2,100 metre-long protective series of 21-inch diameter pipes, each weighing 20 tonnes, broke free of the drill ship before it moved clear of the site. The riser pipes fell to the ocean floor missing the wellhead by a mere 12 metres.