Drilling advances ///

The New Year Eve’s towing incident notwithstanding, the Kulluk conical Arctic drilling rig was “absolutely” the best choice for Shell Oil’s Alaska exploration program, President Marvin Odom said during last month’s Innovation Summit at the operator’s newly expanded Houston Technology Center. Odom defended the selection of the 30-year-old rig at a press conference during the Shell confab that drew an eclectic audience comprising engineers, scientists, academia, media, environmentalists, the financial community and other assorted disciplines. Joining Shell executives at the two-day summit was an equally diverse panel of speakers, including representatives from PepsiCo, MD Anderson Cancer Center, NASA and the X-Prize Foundation, which creates and manages large-scale, global incentivized technology competitions.

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