SEATTLE -- A Shell Oil rig is scheduled to depart Seattle this month for Alaska's North Slope, where it will drill test wells this summer.
During the past year, about 400 workers at Vigor Shipyards have been refurbishing the drilling platform called the Kulluk.
The Seattle Times reports exploration and development of oil fields in Arctic waters could pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the Puget Sound economy.
Earlier this month, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell and Sen. Lisa Murkoswski toured the oil rig in Seattle. They hope new sources of oil will keep the trans-Alaska pipeline operating.
If Shell embarks on a new round of development, the fields wouldn't start producing until 2023. The drilling is opposed by Greenpeace and other environmental groups.