The Polar Pioneer oil rig arrived in Port Angeles on Wednesday, October 28. It was in its anchorage in Port Angeles Harbor by about 5 p.m. local time.

Shell’s Polar Pioneer drilling rig returns to Port Angeles after Arctic exploration

Image: Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said Port Angeles was an “excellent location for load-out” before the drilling season and remains fit for that purpose.

The rig is expected to spend a “handful of weeks” at the port for offloading, he said. “Its next destination has not been determined.”

The Polar Pioneer’s arrival in Seattle in May triggered protests by environmentalists and led city officials to challenge the Port of Seattle’s two-year lease of Terminal 5 to a contractor planning to use it for Shell’s drilling ships.

The Polar Pioneer and a companion drilling rig, the Noble Discoverer, left Alaska’s Dutch Harbor about two weeks ago, after Royal Dutch Shell’s (Sept 27)- announcement that it would pull back from oil exploration off the North Slope.

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