12 May 2013 – Shell has appointed Ann Pickard, the company’s current Australia boss, to take over its troubled Alaska Arctic drilling programme, the Anglo-Dutch supermajor confirmed to Upstream late Friday.
Pickard, who was appointed in 2010 and oversaw Shell’s complex development of floating liquefied natural gas projects in the nation, is said to be poised to start in Alaska on 1 June.
She is also held in high regard overseeing a tough period for the company in Nigeria.
The supermajor has put 2013 drilling plans on hold in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas after a troubled 2012 season that saw major damage to both its drilling rigs in the theatre amid a range of operational blunders.
Shell also saw exploration executive David Lawrence depart in March “by mutual consent” following the campaign.
The Kulluk drilling barge and Noble Discoverer drillship are headed to Asia for repairs as the company regroups.
The company, which has reiterated its belief in the Arctic’s importance to the company, has spend nearly $5 billion on its plans so far but only executed top-hole drilling in 2012 after a prolonged legal fight.
*Kathrine Schmidt, Upstreamonline