On Thursday, the United States federal government’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) reported that it had carried out inspection procedures on some vessels among the Arctic drilling fleet of Shell. BSEE serves as an agency of the Interior Department, which is a state department tasked with giving drilling authorizations.

BSEE appointed two officers to examine the Transocean rig Polar Pioneer and Drillship Noble Discoverer while they were in Alaska’s Dutch Harbor.

Polar pioneer

Photo: glenn

The inspections in question took place in the time period of July 7th-12th, as stated by BSEE.

The company’s 29-vessel fleet is almost ready to begin its Arctic campaign that is to be initiated in the Chukchi Sea off of Alaska. At the moment, Shell is awaiting two more authorization before proceeding.

The Fennica icebreaker, however, is in drydock in Portland, Oregon in order to be repaired for a gash it sustained to its hull that resulted in the leaking of the vessel’s ballast tanks. The ship is equipped with a capping stack, which is an integral device in the drilling process and can be used for containing a blown out well.

The BSEE-appointed officials also inspected the Fennica in Dutch Harbor and confirmed that the capping stack had not suffered any damages during the incident.

If and when Shell receives approval to initiate drilling, BSEE inspectors are going to be constantly onboard of both drilling ships for the operation’s entire duration.