kulluk shell alaska

The conical drilling unit Kulluk in Kiliuda Bay Jan. 8. Photo by Greg Martin for Shell Alaska.

LONDON–Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA, RDSA.LN) Chief Executive Peter Voser said Thursday that both its Alaska drilling rigs need more work before they can be ready for this year’s drilling season.

The Noble Discoverer needs a series of upgrades, while the Kulluk, which recently ran aground, has sustained damage, Mr. Voser said.

“It’s too early to say how this will impact going forward,” he said, referring to the damage of Kulluk on plans to drill this year. The company is also waiting for the conclusion of a number of reviews, both external and internal, into the operating performance in Alaska in the 2012 drilling season before deciding on the next steps, Mr. Voser added.

Write to Selina Williams at Selina.Williams@dowjones.com

(c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company

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  • http://www.economic-undertow.com/ steve from virginia

    Meanwhile both of these rust-buckets are a year older.

    What is with RDS? Are they clownish on purpose or does the company just come to clownishness naturally? Howcum the company cannot put forward the best Arctic technology? Why not new exploration- and production platforms? Why not a new spill response ship? Why not service vessels designed for Arctic conditions instead of the Gulf of Mexico? Where are the new icebreakers? Can’t RDS afford new equipment? Or … are they afraid the regulators will put Arctic drill sites off-limits in a year or two?

    Racing forward with decrepit equipment in the world’s harshest marine environment is the surest way to guarantee any arctic reserves are kept in the ground. The company was lucky it did not lose any workers or contractors during the past year’s little adventures.

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