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Ice still delays Shell Arctic offshore drilling

By DAN JOLING: Associated Press: Published: Friday, Sep. 14, 2012 – 5:58 pm

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— A spokesman for Shell Alaska says it will be at least Monday before a company drill ship can return to an offshore petroleum prospect in the Chukchi (chuck-CHEE’) Sea.

Curtis Smith says ice is still prevalent over the Royal Dutch Shell prospect 70 miles off the coast of northwest Alaska.

A Shell drill ship, the Noble Discoverer, on Sunday began preliminary work on an exploratory well.

It was the first drilling work in the Chukchi since 1991 but the work was halted hours after it began.

Ice measuring 30 miles long and 12 miles wide was spotted heading for the drill ship and Shell moved the vessel 30 miles south to wait for ice to pass.

Smith says the ice is expected to pass through in the next two days.

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