Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Is Shell’s skimmer vessel the ‘Nanuq’ ready to deal with Arctic spill?

The Nanuq, a 301-foot, Arctic A-1 ice class, oil recovery platform supply vessel, built by Edison Chouest of Houma Louisiana, owned by Shell

By a former employee of Shell Oil USA

I read the article about Shell’s skimmer vessel the ‘Nanuq’.

Shell apparently thinks it is ready to deal with a spill. Somebody needs to prove that.

Got an observation and a question –

The observation is that some of the structures that Shell wants to drill have already been drilled and have been shown to be oil and/or gas bearing. Undoubtedly some sort of tests were run and liquids were recovered.

Got a question? What were/are the pour points for the oils in those reservoirs at atmospheric conditions? I have seen oils so full of paraffin they solidify at 140 degrees F. This kind of stuff makes great candles.

If the pour point on the oils in those reservoirs is too above water temperature Shell’ ‘skimmer’ probably won’t work worth a darn. It is hard to skim solid wax or tar, or anything like molasses in the winter. Somebody should check that data to see whether Shell’s contingency plan accounts for the fact they may not have a system capable of slurping up almost solid goo.

Could be they might have to build the ‘vacuum cleaner from hell’ to deal with stuff like that. Just a suggestion, but someone might want to check this out ‘a priori’ to any incident.

I am sure those geniuses at DOI are utterly clueless about such issues, and Shell most defnitely won’t let on if there is a problem. They want to get on with the drilling ASAP.

You might want to send this off to WWF. Let them ask DoI about all of this. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

0 Comments on “Is Shell’s skimmer vessel the ‘Nanuq’ ready to deal with Arctic spill?”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: