ABS is to class a first-of-its-kind Arctic Containment System (ACS), slated for deployment in June 2012 to serve all exploration activities in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas offshore Alaska.
The non self-propelled ice-strengthened barge will be converted to a floating offshore installation and will feature a modular oil containment system installed on its deck.
The dedicated barge will remain unmanned and on standby until deployed. Then, assisted by a tugboat, its trained crew will be able to respond to an oil spill incident in the exploration areas in a matter of days.
Shell has plans to drill up to six exploration wells in the area later this year and has contracted with Superior Energy, the operator of the ACS, for the containment system to be available during the summer drilling season. The containment system would be able to mitigate spillage in the time it takes to drill an intervention well.
March 16, 2012