Shell halts Chukchi Sea drilling
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Royal Dutch Shell has halted drilling in the Chukchi Sea one day after it began because of sea ice moving toward the company's drill ship off Alaska.
Shell Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith tells The Associated Press that drilling was stopped as a precautionary measure in accordance with its ice management plan.
Smith says that when the ice, which measures about 30 miles by 12 miles, has moved on, the Noble Discoverer will reconnect to anchors and resume drilling.
The company's Burger Prospect is 70 miles off the northwest coast of Alaska.
Drilling had begun at 4:30 a.m. Sunday.
The oil giant was given permission last month to begin preliminary work on an exploratory well. The company is authorized to drill pilot holes that do not descend into oil reservoirs.
IMAGE: Royal Dutch Shell