Shell Oil on the way to the Arctic

File:Icebreaker Fennica.jpg

Photo Credit: Marcusroos via Wikipedia “Finnish icebreaker Fennica in the Bay of Botnia”

Shell Oil has a fleet of roughly two dozen ships on the way to the Arctic where they are expected to drill exploratory wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. The drill ships have recently left Seattle and are on the way to Dutch Harbor, where they will wait for the ice to clear. At least four of these ships are ice-class ships, as big or bigger than some of the Coast Guards earlier icebreakers, including Chouest’s M/V Nanuq (301 ft) and Aiviq (361 ft) and the Finish multipurpose icebreakers Nordica and Fennica (381 ft). provides additional detail and shows some of the preparation for the possibility of a spill.

(Thanks to Tim Colton’s Maritime Memos, he’s got lots of other good stuff including developments in the ship building industry–problems at Austal, a comment on Canada’s ship building paralysis, and advice for the Navy and Coast Guard on how to make “should-cost estimating” work.)

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