The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has inspected Shell’s oil spill response equipment staged in Northern Alaska.
The bureau said that two members of its Oil Spill Preparedness Division recently traveled to communities along the Arctic to verify and inspect oil spill response equipment staged to support ongoing oil exploration in the Chukchi Sea.
Along with several members of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the team traveled to Wainwright and Prudhoe Bay, to verify equipment preparedness and inspect required items in Shell’s approved Chukchi and Beaufort Sea Regional Exploration Program Oil Spill Response Plans.
According to the bureau, the equipment is owned and/or operated by Alaska Clean Seas, and Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation Arctic Response Services, two of Shell’s oil spill removal organizations listed in the company’s plans. The joint inspection team verified that the equipment was available and maintained as detailed in the plans, following inspections of specified equipment, maintenance records, and equipment operability, the BSEE said.
BSEE added that the inspections were a continuation of its commitment and comprehensive effort to ensure safe and environmentally responsible offshore oil and gas development in the Arctic.
As federal regulators, BSEE enforces operator compliance with regulations regarding oil spill response equipment preparedness and conducts inspections and exercises, to validate the tactics, logistics, resource availability, and personnel proficiency identified and relied upon in the approved oil spill response plan and permits.
To remind, Shell kicked off drilling operations in the Chukchi Sea in August, using the Transocean-owned Polar Pioneer drilling rig.