Anchorage, Alaska — A brand new ice vessel will soon head to the arctic to support Shell Oil's offshore drilling efforts.
The Aiviq is currently in Lousiana and was christened on Saturday. Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says the icebreaker was specifically built to work in Alaska's offshore. The company plans to drill oil wells in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Smith says the company has a number of the permits they need, and this vessel is another step toward oil exploration in Alaska's arctic.
"Over two million man hours went into the building of the Aiviq, so really there's a job story here but there's also a technology story as there is really no other vessel like this that has ever been built in the U.S.," says Smith.
The 360 foot-long icebreaker can hold 10,000 barrels of oil. Shell spent almost $200 million for the Aiviq.