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Dutch judge rejects Shell attempt to ban Greenpeace from protesting its Arctic drilling

By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, October 5, 4:29 PM

AMSTERDAM — A Dutch court has rejected a lawsuit filed by Royal Dutch Shell PLC against Greenpeace International seeking to ban environmentalists from holding protests against the oil company’s Arctic drilling program on or near Shell property.

The Amsterdam District Court said Friday Greenpeace has the right to protest, and Shell should expect public protest about business practices that are controversial.

However, the court also handed Greenpeace a set of protest guidelines intended to ensure its protests are “proportionate,” including the requirement the group not occupy gas stations for more than an hour at a time. read more

Shell president optimistic about Arctic offshore drilling despite setback with safety system

By Associated Press, Tuesday, September 18, 2:56 AM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Shell is limiting Arctic drilling off Alaska to just preparation work this year after suffering several setbacks, but the company says it remains optimistic about the project’s prospects.

Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell PLC said earlier Monday that a containment dome required to be in place before drills can enter oil-bearing rock in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas was damaged Saturday during testing off Bellingham, Wash.

Environmental groups quickly blasted the company, saying the latest setback and others are evidence the oil industry cannot safely drill in the Arctic. read more

Shell set to begin drilling off Alaska

By , Sunday, September 9, 12:51 AM

With the ice-free drilling season nearing an end, Shell Oil was expecting to start its first exploration well in the Chukchi Sea off the northwest coast of Alaska on Saturday afternoon.

On Friday, the Noble Discoverer drilling rig was moored to eight anchors spread in a circular pattern 6,500 feet across on the sea floor to center the rig over the well. Each anchor weighs several tons.

The company said that crews on board would begin drilling a pilot hole to a depth of roughly 1,400 feet, stopping well short of the oil-bearing reservoirs while the company finishes work on a spill control vessel it needs in place before getting final permits.

Last week the Interior Department said that Shell could drill the pilot hole and the 20-by-40-foot hole called the mud line cellar, which will house the blowout preventer and allow it to sit below the sea floor. The company also will install casing and cement in the top portion of the well. read more

Arctic sea ice hits record low, scientists say

By , Monday, August 27, 5:28 PM

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center – This visualization shows the extent of Arctic sea ice on Aug. 26, the day the sea ice dipped to its smallest extent ever recorded in more than three decades of satellite measurements. The line on the image shows the average minimum extent from the period covering 1979-2010. Every summer the ice cap melts down to what scientists call its “minimum” before colder weather builds the ice cover back up.

The extent of Arctic sea ice reached a record low Monday, according to the University of Colorado National Snow and Ice Data Center, and is on track to decline further in the next two weeks.The news that the Arctic sea ice cover had shrunk to 1.58 million square miles (4.1 million square kilometers) on Sunday came two days after Royal Dutch Shell’s drill ship, the Noble Discoverer, took advantage of reduced sea ice and started sailing from Alaska’s Dutch Harbor to the Chukchi Sea, in anticipation of final federal approval for oil exploration activities there. The area covered by Arctic summer sea ice usually reaches its low point around Sept. 13, when the region begins to cool. But it has been melting at an unprecedented 38,600 square miles (100,000 square kilometers) per day, and it is likely to decline even further before the ice begins to re-form. The last minimum sea-ice record of 1.61 million square miles (4.17 million square kilometers) was set in September 2007.Walt Meier, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said long-term warming coupled with recent weather conditions account for the new low. He noted that the long-term warming trend has produced more open water, which in turn absorbs more heat and makes the ice thinner.

“The thinner ice cover is then more easily melted during the summer, and more easily broken up by winds and waves from storms, which leads to more melting as well,” Meier wrote in an e-mail. “This year we had a pretty strong storm go through the Arctic in early August, and that certainly has been a big factor in the rapid loss during August. But before that storm, we were already tracking along the 2007 trajectory, so a record may have happened even without that storm because of the long-term trend.” read more

Shell Oil scales back Arctic drilling plan, now looking at 2 wells for 2012

By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, July 31, 9:55 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Shell Oil Co. is downsizing its plan for off-shore drilling in the Arctic this year amid delays completing a spill containment barge required by the federal government, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Shell now hopes to complete two wells in 2012 instead of five. One would be in the Beaufort Sea off the northern Alaska coastline, and the other in the Chukchi Sea off the northwest coast between Alaska and Russia.

The company’s ambitious two-year goal of drilling 10 wells remains in place, company spokesman Curtis Smith said. read more

Greenpeace finds deep-sea corals on Shell’s Arctic drill site

By , Published: July 27

Greenpeace scientists have identified a dense patch of deep-sea corals in a lease area of the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast, where Royal Dutch Shell is slated to start drilling.Researchers for the advocacy group, which have been lobbying to block drilling in the Arctic this summer, went down about 150 feet in a submarine this week to take samples. During the dives, they found significant concentrations of the soft coral Gersemia rubiformis , which is commonly known as sea raspberry.

Shell is awaiting final permits to begin drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas and has predicted it could start as early as next week.

In its scientific report on the Chukchi’s benthic, or seafloor, environment, Shell identified corals as occupying less than 4 percent of the habitat.

But Greenpeace marine biologist John Hocevar described the corals as the “third most abundant” species he sampled, after two types of sea stars. He conducted the mission in a leased area about 10 miles from one of the company’s vessels. read more

Protest Stalls Energy Giant in Rural Ireland

The Washington Post: Protest Stalls Energy Giant in Rural Ireland

“The government and Shell should be ashamed of themselves,”

Sunday 25 September 2005
Farmers’ Jailing Over Gas Project Fuels Sharp Debate

By Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, September 25, 2005; Page A30

ROSSPORT, Ireland — Five farmers from these wind-swept coastal boglands have been locked up in a Dublin prison for nearly three months for blocking construction of a $1.1 billion natural gas pipeline and refinery by the Shell oil group, a standoff that has forced suspension of the largest energy project in Irish history.

The imprisonment of the group known here as the Rossport Five, which includes a 65-year-old former schoolteacher, has sparked protest marches across Ireland and an emotional debate about the pace and balance of economic development in a once-poor country that has become one of Europe’s greatest success stories. read more

Royal Dutch Shell News Saturday 6 November, 2004

Oil Continues Upward March

The Washington Post: Oil Continues Upward March

“Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Cos… withdrew nonessential personnel from the Niger Delta, said Simon Buerk, a London-based spokesman for the company. Citing policy, Buerk would not say whether production in the country was reduced as a result of the personnel withdrawal.”

Justin Blum and Nell Henderson

Sep 29, 2004

Crude oil prices jumped beyond $50 a barrel yesterday, renewing concerns that sustained high energy costs will further weaken the U.S. economy.

The surge came after rebels in Nigeria threatened to interfere with oil production, upsetting a market already on edge over domestic supply disruptions in the Gulf of Mexico caused by Hurricane Ivan. Lost production and a decline in imports because of the storm led to a reduction in U.S. crude oil inventories.

At the close, U.S. benchmark crude oil for November delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange stood at a record $49.90 per barrel. Adjusted for inflation, the price was still below its peak in 1981. read more

Shell Transport And Trading Buys Back 2M Shares

The Wall Street Journal: Shell Transport And Trading Buys Back 2M Shares read more

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