Offshore Drilling Accident Lawyer William Gee III comments on Shell’s decision to suspend drilling this year in the Arctic Ocean

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Offshore drilling rig attorney William Gee III praised Royal Dutch Shell for halting exploratory drilling activity in light of recent accidents. He said the safety of workers should always be a priority.

Safety concerns and the impact on the environment need to be taken into consideration before every drilling operation.

Royal Dutch Shell announced Feb. 27 that it would suspend offshore drilling operations north of Alaska for the remainder of 2013 due to several accidents in this remote area last year, according to an article published in the New York Times on Feb. 27. Louisiana offshore injury lawyer William Gee III today said he was pleased to see the company taking steps to ensure the safety of workers.

“Too often, too many oil companies place profits before safety,” said Gee, a Louisiana maritime lawyer. “Royal Dutch Shell’s decision to stop drilling for the rest of this year in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas shows that some companies are finally getting the message that you can’t put profits first. Safety concerns and the impact on the environment need to be taken into consideration before every drilling operation.”

The decision to halt drilling in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea north of Alaska came after one of Shell’s drilling rigs, the Kulluk, suffered serious accidents while leaving the area at the end of the drilling season due to severe weather conditions, according to a statement released by Royal Dutch Shell on Feb. 27. The Kulluk and a second drilling rig, Noble Discoverer, will be towed to Asia for maintenance and repairs, Royal Dutch Shell stated.

As an offshore drilling accident attorney, Gee said he has seen first-hand what can happen when companies place profits before safety concerns. Gee noted that Louisiana residents and people who conduct business near the Gulf of Mexico are still dealing with the aftermath of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on April 20, 2010 that killed 11 people. A record 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled into the ocean and resulting in a record $4 billion fine leveled against British Petroleum, CNN and other news outlets reported.

Federal regulators have been taking a harder line on oil companies since the 2010 BP Gulf oil spill. In northern Alaska, federal regulators limited Shell’s exploration of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in 2012 to two wells. The company wanted to drill 10 exploratory wells, but could not do so since federal regulators determined that Shell did not have enough spill prevention and cleanup equipment available nearby, the New York Times reported.

Searching for oil in remote locations requires highly skilled workers and state-of-the-art equipment, Gee said.

“Drilling companies need to be sensitive to the fragile conditions many of them explore in such remote locations,” Gee said March 4. “When a drilling accident happens hundreds of miles from the nearest town, injured workers might not be able to get the medical attention they need after a serious offshore drilling rig accident, or the companies might not be able to clean up the oil spill fast enough, resulting in a serious environmental disaster. That’s why it’s critical that oil companies hire experienced workers and use the most up-to-date equipment. But even with the best workers and the best equipment on board, offshore drilling rig accidents happen. And when they do, injury victims need to make sure their rights are fully protected.”

For more information about offshore drilling accidents and the rights of injured drilling rig workers, call (800) 488-5227 or visit

About The Law Office of William Gee III
An experienced Louisiana maritime lawyer, William Gee III has a well-earned reputation for being one of the nation’s hardest working offshore oil injury lawyers. He specializes in offshore drilling accidents, maritime law, barge accidents, shipping accidents and other marine-related injuries. A dedicated attorney with strong ties to Louisiana, William Gee III works for clients on a contingency fee basis. As a result, clients only pay for legal services if they win. He also has a strong track record for obtaining large, sometimes multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts designed to cover the true cost of a maritime accident injury. The Law Office of William Gee III is located at 2014 W. Pinhook Road, Suite 501, Lafayette, Louisiana 70508.

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Jacob M Del Hagen
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