Noble working on issues with Discoverer drillship in Alaska

Noble Corp. is working to fix deficiencies and maintenance issues raised by the US Coast Guard during a recent inspection of the Noble Discoverer drillship following a drilling season offshore Alaska, the drilling contractor said Dec. 27.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which has the drillship under contract, said it’s also reviewing the drillship’s operations in Alaska and the 2012 arctic operating conditions with the intent of strengthening the readiness of the drillship and the other drilling assets for 2013.

Shell used the Discoverer for drilling in the Arctic offshore Alaska starting in September (OGJ Online, Sept. 20, 2012).

During November, the drillship briefly caught fire in Dutch Harbor port in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, and the crew extinguished the fire.

Noble said USCG identified several components and systems needing attention, including the ship's propulsion and safety management systems. The drillship currently is en route to a previously scheduled shipyard stay in Washington.

The drilling contractor said it has resolved a number of the issues identified by USGC, and it plans to complete the remaining items during the shipyard stay.

Noble said its internal review, independent of the USCG, identified other potential regulatory noncompliance issues, including possible unauthorized collected water discharges outside the period of drilling operations.

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