Royal Dutch Shell announced today after a series of delays and setbacks that it was holding off until next year in its efforts to drill  into oil and gas deposits in the Arctic offshore. In the latest delay, the company’s high-tech dome, which is designed to contain oil should an underwater spill happen, was damaged during a test.

Shell said it would continue to drill “top holes” off the coast of Alaska during this season’s drilling window but would not attempt to reach any hydrocarbon deposits until next year. The company has experienced setbacks due to problems with its oil containment barge, which has for weeks been unable to pass U.S. Coast Guard certification.

The vessel was undergoing refurbishments, which were complete last week. During testing of the retrofitting, the containment dome was damaged. How damaged the dome was remained unclear.

Drilling on an initial well in the Chukchi Sea also was delayed as a miles-long floating ice shelf forced operations to shut down and move away. Shell said it’s hopeful the rig can resume positioning and again begin drilling in the next few days.

These setbacks highlight the dangers of how offshore drilling injuries can occur. If you’ve been injured in drilling rig incident, contact our attorneys  Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers today.