Shell may have designs in the Arctic, but the Maritime Executive reports that one of the icebreaker ships it is using has suffered a fault that may affect the company's plans, at least in the short term.

Although the hull fracture discovered on the M/V Fennika is believed to be minor damage, it does pose a possible problem for the schedule of Shell's oil production development. It also shows the reasons commercial watercraft insurance may be necessary even in the early stages of an operation. The company is currently investigating the crack in the ship's exterior, which stretches three feet long.

The cause of the damage is currently undetermined, though the Coast Guard will look into the matter as well. The vessel is an important part of Shell's plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea, because it carries a capping stack necessary for containing spills at short notice.

In a piece from Alaska Public Media on this crack, Shawn Eggert of the Coast Guard describes the events that led to the discovery of the fracture.

"The Motor Vessel Fennica was departing from the port of Dutch Harbor, Alaska when the crew discovered that they had water coming in to their Port No. 4 ballast tank. At that point they returned to port and tied up at the Delta Western dock," Eggert said. "Divers there discovered a one-inch wide by three foot long fracture in the ship's hull."

A problem in one vessel can have repercussions that disrupt or alter a company's larger plans. Working with a professional can help companies find boat insurance rates that work in their favor and reflect the severity of their work.

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