According to government reports, when oil giant Shell (LON:RDSA) tested the containment dome they would use in the event of a spill at an offshore drilling operation in the Northern Arctic seas, the dome “crushed like a beer can” under pressure.
Thanks to the Gulf of Mexico spill two years ago we all know what a “containment dome” is and how important it is when it comes to an undersea oil drilling catastrophe.
According to documents obtained by the Seattle radio station, KUOW, through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Shell’s containment dome was tested off the calm shores of Seattle, Washington in September of this year and the dome test failed miserably.
In the documents, a federal official witnessing the test “on a dead call Friday night” at sea, reports that Shell’s dome “crushed like a beer can.”
Considering just how close we came to seeing Shell drilling offshore for oil in the Arctic this year, this is a pretty disturbing revelation. Never before has a company proposed to drill in the Arctic seas of the Chukchi and Beaufort (the same place they film the TV show World’s Deadliest Catch).
If Shell can’t even come close to getting it right on a calm evening in September off the coast of the protected waters around Seattle, then they are far from being ready to drill in the harsh conditions in the Northern Arctic seas.
Photo from “How can I recycle this” licensed under Creative Commons