Shell Canada seals second deepwater well off N.S.

Shell is moving to seal off the second of its two deepwater exploration wells off Nova Scotia

HALIFAX — Shell is moving to seal off the second of its two deepwater exploration wells off Nova Scotia.

The company began work on the Monterey Jack well on the Scotian Shelf on Sept. 25, shortly after abandoning its Cheshire well in the Nova Scotia offshore, about 250 kilometres southeast of Halifax.

Shell spokesman Cameron Yost said in an email Monday that sealing the well involves “the installation and testing of multiple barriers in the wellbore.”

He also said it is too early to speculate on what the results of the well are, saying it will take some time to analyze the information gathered from Monterey Jack by a contracted exploration vessel.

Petroleum geologist Grant Wach, a professor at Dalhousie University, cautions deep waters off the Scotian Shelf may require a number of exploration wells before firm conclusions are reached, adding that it required more than 30 wells to make the Grand Banks discovery off Newfoundland.

Wach said in an email that he’ll continue to watch what decision BP takes in terms of drilling their potential exploration sites on the Scotian shelf.

He also said that Shell’s original news release left the option of drilling five other exploration wells, and these may be the key future sign of whether their deepwater play continue to be possibilities.

“If they drill more wells, they are interested,” he said.

In addition, there are bid rounds for exploration licensing coming up this year and in 2018 and Wach said interest in these blocks will also be a sign of whether Nova Scotia’s offshore is continuing to attract investment.

However, the deepwater drilling off Nova Scotia has attracted opposition from municipal leaders, environmentalists and fishermen’s groups concerned about the possibility of a blowout.

During the drilling of the Cheshire well — which did show commercial quantities of hydrocarbons — the ship contracted to drill the well dropped two kilometres of pipe and other drilling gear onto the ocean floor on March 5.

The incident occurred after the ship unlatched the drilling gear from the wellhead due to heaving seas, and was moving away from the site.

There were no injuries or spills, but a report has noted the accident was costly and caused delays in the drilling effort.

Just Posted

Driver crashes into Red Deer business while fleeing police

A car smashed through a Red Deer business’ front window while fleeing… Continue reading

Police informer talks about his role in Castor undercover sting

Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank were convicted of triple murders last month

City of Red Deer invites residents to Let’s Talk

Interactive public forum to be held April 7

Lessons in altruism learned by Red Deer students

St. Francis of Assisi School launches community foundation project

Sylvan Lake council approves fire pits and mobile stage

Large fire pits for group gatherings will be located on pier next winter

Sutter Fund Chiefs ready to host Midget AAA Female Provincials

The second half of the season did not go as planned for… Continue reading

Wickenheiser says strengthening Olympic hockey bridge behind North Korea trip

CALGARY — Hayley Wickenheiser was conflicted about the unified Korean women’s hockey… Continue reading

Watch: Volcanic thunder is real, and this is what it sounds like

Behold, the rumble of volcanic thunder. No, this is not the sound… Continue reading

Cosmetics giant L’Oreal buys Toronto augmented reality startup ModiFace

TORONTO — When University of Toronto engineering professor Parham Aarabi first began… Continue reading

Report: ESPN president resigned over cocaine extortion plot

LOS ANGELES — The former president of ESPN said he resigned from… Continue reading

Conductor Levine, ousted after sex abuse inquiry, sues Met

NEW YORK — Conductor James Levine sued the Metropolitan Opera on Thursday… Continue reading

Five things about ‘Fortnite,’ the video game Drake shared with his fans

Drake’s a fan, as is Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, along… Continue reading

Former Devils forward Kovalchuk aiming for NHL return after five years away

MOSCOW — Former NHL forward Ilya Kovalchuk says he wants to return… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month