Shell Oil (with non-operating partners Conco Phillips 30% and Suncor 20%) acquired licenses for six areas and may drill seven exploratory wells over the next four years. The area, about 250 km south of Halifax, just off the edge of the continental shelf, is off the Southwest Scotian Shelf.
The drill ship Stena IceMAX has arrived from the Gulf of Mexico and will be positioning itself to drill in 1500 to 3500 meters of water. If the first two wells look good Shell will continue drilling, However it is do or die, for if those two are unpromising the program will end.
Shell has contracted for four suppliers to support the operation.
Secunda's Scotian Sea sailed on Sunday, and will be the standby vessel which will remain on scene most of the time. It can also carry supplies, and is fitted with large rescue boat.
Breaux Tide sailed also and it is one of two suppliers chartered by Atlantic Towing from Tidewater. Sister Jones Tide is still in Halifax but ready to sail when needed.
DOF Subsea Canada is using Skandi Flora which has also sailed.
All the suppliers are working under the Canadain flag, with Canadain crews.
Unfortunately the drilling site is outside of the AIS range, so it will not be possible to monitor activity as we can with the gas fields in the Sable Island area.