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Posts Tagged ‘Alaska Dispatch’

Economics, not just regulation, sidelined Shell’s offshore Alaska drilling plans

Dermot Cole: December 8, 2015 Fresh assertions that the Obama administration smothered Shell’s Arctic dreams followed the news that Statoil gave up on its leases, the second company to abandon plans to look for oil in the Chukchi Sea. Citing market conditions and noting the leases “are no longer considered competitive within Statoil’s global portfolio,” the Norwegian company announced its withdrawal plans Nov. […]

Shell’s Arctic drill rigs make final Alaska stop

Laurel Andrews: October 12, 2015 Two weeks after announcing the end of its Arctic offshore oil exploration program, Royal Dutch Shell’s Noble Discoverer drillship left Dutch Harbor Monday afternoon, the last planned stop in Alaska as it heads to the Pacific Northwest. The company’s second drilling rig that had arrived in Alaska this summer, the Transocean Polar Pioneer, […]

High winds cause flooding in Barrow, prompts Shell to pause oil drilling

Yereth Rosen and Alex DeMarban: 27 August 2015 Huge, wind-whipped waves crashed onto the shore at Barrow on Thursday, forcing the closure of a nearby road, the National Weather Service reported. Westerly winds were gusting up to 50 miles an hour, pushing waves up to the top of the beach and causing some erosion, the National Weather Service said. […]

Former BP chief exec warns Shell about Arctic drilling

Former BP chief exec warns Shell about Arctic drilling Kamala Kelkar: August 13, 2015 The former chief executive of BP, who headed the company during a spate of nasty disasters including the biggest ever pipeline spill in the North Slope, warned Shell that drilling in the Arctic could hurt its reputation. Former BP CEO Lord Browne told […]

‘It’s just too big a prize’: Why Shell sticks to Chukchi plans, despite obstacles

Alaska Dispatch News: August 5, 2015 Despite tumbling oil prices, rising costs, legal woes, heated political opposition and a series of missteps and misadventures, Royal Dutch Shell is pushing forward with its plan to drill for oil in the offshore regions of Alaska’s remote Chukchi Sea. Why? In a wide-ranging narrative, Bloomberg Business details the company’s struggles in […]

Shell’s Arctic drilling efforts come under fire in Unalaska

Jim Paulin: Dutch Harbor Fisherman: July 19, 2015 Shell came under criticism at a meeting in Unalaska last week from an unlikely pair, a representative of Greenpeace concerned about global environmental impacts and city official — and pro-developoment booster — Frank Kelty, complaining about local impacts brought by the influx of oil company workers filling up the […]

Cold receptions for Shell in Lower 48 ports mean opportunity for Alaska

Frank Murkowski: July 19, 2015 A dynamic event is underway in Arctic Alaska today: one that, if successful, could have a profound effect on our state’s economy. Shell Alaska is preparing to drill for oil this summer in Alaska’s offshore continental shelf. To date, Shell has expended over $7 billion in gearing up for their effort. […]

Barrow, a town divided over Shell’s drilling

Krista Langlois | High Country News: July 19, 2015 BARROW — As Royal Dutch Shell’s massive drill rig, the Polar Pioneer, chugs its way up the Alaska coast, the 4,700 residents of America’s northernmost town was focused on a different event: the annual Nalukataq festival, in which the entire community shares in the bounty of a […]

Shell’s damaged Arctic drilling support vessel will go to Oregon for repair

Shell’s damaged Arctic drilling support vessel will go to Oregon for repair Dan Joling | Associated Press: July 13, 2015 Shell oil company will send a damaged ship carrying equipment required for Arctic offshore oil drilling from Alaska back to the West Coast for repairs. Royal Dutch Shell PLC ‘s drilling schedule for two exploratory wells […]

Arctic energy debate can be more than Shell rigs and Greenpeace protests

Arctic energy debate can be more than Shell rigs and Greenpeace protests Victoria Herrmann: June 12, 2015 Today, the phrase “Arctic energy” has become synonymous with snowy oil rigs, icy ocean exploration, and Greenpeace activists. The recent conditional approval of Shell’s plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea has reinforced this narrow delineation of energy debates about the […]

Shell financial reports about Arctic drilling are too ‘rosy,’ environmentalists charge

By Yereth Rosen Alaska Dispatch News: April 28, 2015 Shell financial reports about Arctic drilling are too ‘rosy,’ environmentalists charge Shell has understated the financial risks of exploring for oil in the Arctic Ocean and federal regulators should investigate possible misrepresentations to investors, critics of the drilling plan said Tuesday. Oceana, an environmental organization, and the Abrams Environmental […]

Shell has major hurdles to clear before Chukchi drilling resumes

Yereth Rosen Alaska Dispatch News: April 4, 2015 Shell has major hurdles to clear before Chukchi drilling resumes Now that the Department of the Interior has, for the second time, affirmed the record-breaking Chukchi Sea lease sale it held seven years ago, is it smooth sailing for Royal Dutch Shell and its plans to drill this year on […]

You are here Stakes are too high with Arctic drilling, and Shell isn’t ready

From an article by Lois Epstein published 21 Jan 2015 by Alaska Dispatch News Extracts Two years ago on New Year’s Eve, Shell’s Kulluk Arctic offshore drilling rig grounded near Kodiak Island. It was an industrial calamity heard around the world, including a cover story in the Jan. 4 issue of The New York Times […]

Outlook uncertain for Shell’s return to the Chukchi

By Yereth Rosen: 3 Jan 2015 Six years after dropping more than $2 billion on leases in the remote Chukchi Sea off northwestern Alaska, Shell has yet to drill into any oil in that icy frontier. Plans for an audacious offshore Arctic exploration program have been stymied by litigation and adverse court rulings and a […]

Shell’s disastrous tax dodge

Photo Courtesy Mark Meyer / Greenpeace Extracts from an article by Jim Paulin, Dutch Harbor Fisherman, published 23 March 2014 by AlaskaDispatch under the headline: Southwest Alaska municipalities want bigger share of oil royalties  Impacts are already being felt from the arrival of Royal Dutch Shell in Alaska. The arctic-class oil rig Kulluk grounded in […]

Release of Interior’s Arctic standards for offshore oil development delayed

Arctic-specific standards to guide offshore oil operations — rules crafted in response to Shell’s trouble-plagued 2012 drilling season — will be issued later than expected, the head of a key federal agency said on Wednesday. Tick tock: Kulluk’s countdown to disaster unveiled Yereth Rosen:  November 20, 2013 Arctic-specific standards to guide offshore oil operations — […]

Shell pulls back on Arctic drilling near Russia’s Sakhalin Island

Alaska Dispatch: October 18, 2013 An environmental group opposed to drilling in the sub-Arctic says that Sakhalin Energy has pulled back on plans for two new oil drilling platforms off Sakhalin Island. Pacific Environment says Royal Dutch Shell and Gazprom decided not to move ahead with a new mobile platform in 2014 and delayed a […]

Shell’s spill-response training in remote Alaska villages a first step for new company

Federal regulators allowed the company to start drilling in two locations, but made it stop short of going deep enough to reach oil or gas, because all the spill-prevention equipment the company had promised wasn’t yet on site. But after the floating drill rig Kulluk snapped free of its tow and grounded in a New […]

Listening sessions start process for Alaska-focused Arctic drilling rules

Looking for lessons in Shell’s disastrous campaign to drill offshore in the Arctic, the Interior Department on Thursday launched an effort to create special rules for oil and gas activity in federal waters off Alaska’s coasts. Alex DeMarban: June 6, 2013 Looking for lessons in Shell’s disastrous campaign to drill offshore in the Arctic, the […]

New leadership for Shell’s Arctic operations

Blunders during the 2012 drilling season, including permitting and technical issues with the Noble Discoverer drillship and the grounding of the Kulluk conical drilling unit, led Shell to halt its 2013 drilling season. Courtesy Shell Suzanna Caldwell:May 1, 2013 Four months after a Royal Dutch Shell drillship ran aground in Alaska, raising questions about the […]

Moving on, Shell signs agreement with Russia to seek oil in Arctic

Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/JPL, MISR Team Eye on the Arctic: April 16, 2013 Although Royal Dutch Shell has announced a hiatus this summer for exploring the Beaufort Sea and Arctic Ocean off of Alaska, the energy giant isn’t slowing down.  Shell has signed an agreement with Russian energy giant Gazprom, allowing it to explore and develop […]

Shell Oil in Arctic: Learning to juggle, with chainsaws

Air permit emission limits were grossly violated yet drill operations continued.; Multiple critical engine failures also demonstrate their support vessels’ failed under stress. The eventual grounding of Shell’s giant mobile oil-drilling rig, the Kulluk, off Kodiak Island conveys a serious lack of planning to save a few dollars (before you go boating, check the weather).Could […]

Evidence Shell Tax Dodging was Behind Kulluk debacle

By John Donovan The Alaska Dispatch has quoted from an email that Shell Alaska spokesperson Curtis Smith (right) sent on 27 December 2012. Curtis said in his email: “it’s fair to say the current tax structure related to vessels of this type influenced the timing of our departure.” He also said it could cost “multiple […]

Safety, pollution issues hold up Shell drillship in Alaska

Ben Anderson | Dec 27, 2012 Royal Dutch Shell’s Noble Discoverer — a 571-foot vessel integral to the company’s Arctic oil drilling aspirations — has been held up in Seward for several weeks to address what the Coast Guard described as  “pretty serious” issues with the ship’s safety and pollution- prevention systems. According to Petty […]

Will Shell Oil’s Arctic ‘beer can’ hold up better in second-chance containment trial?

Alex DeMarban | Dec 13, 2012 The containment dome Royal Dutch Shell hopes never to use has been transformed, following an accident this September that left it “crushed like a beer can” — hampering the company’s groundbreaking effort to suck oil from the Arctic Ocean off Alaska’s North Slope. The failed Puget Sound sea trial […]

Noble Discoverer stack fire contained by Shell Oil personnel

Eric Christopher Adams, Alex DeMarban | Nov 16, 2012 A drill rig involved in Shell Oil’s inaugural season of Arctic oil exploration briefly caught fire Friday morning in Dutch Harbor, an international port in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, according to the Unalaska Fire Department. Firefighters responded to calls of a fire at the U.S. Coast Guard […]

Shell Oil’s next Arctic challenge?

Alex DeMarban | Oct 11, 2012 Believing the U.S. Arctic Ocean contains one of the world’s richest undiscovered oil and gas plays, Royal Dutch Shell is already considering what it will take to ship vast amounts of oil across Alaska. The oil giant might just find the bonanza next summer. In recent weeks, it’s punched […]

Shell gains approval for early well work in Beaufort, seeks OK from whalers

Alex DeMarban | Sep 20, 2012 Kulluk shell offshore rig Shell Alaska photo Federal regulators on Thursday gave Royal Dutch Shell the green light to move forward with preliminary well work in the Beaufort Sea off northeast Alaska as soon as the subsistence whaling season ends. The company is also working to obtain support from […]

Arctic rig departs, Shell meets with US regulators on change of plans

Alex DeMarban | Aug 21, 2012 Attempting to salvage a shortened drilling season in the Arctic, Royal Dutch Shell is working with federal regulators on a plan that might allow it to do some preparatory drilling soon, according to Financial Times. In anticipation, on Monday Shell’s drilling rig, the Kulluk, departed Dutch Harbor, in the […]

Alaska election: Shell dives into state politics and ‘super PACs’ emerge

Amanda Coyne | Jul 31, 2012 As Royal Dutch Shell prepares to explore for offshore oil in Alaska’s Arctic, the company is also waging an effort against a ballot initiative that supporters say would restore the voice of Alaskans in federal coastal decisions. Shell has contributed $150,000 to the Vote No on 2 campaign, which […]

Shell’s ship drifting incident should raise red flags for Alaskans

Carey Restino | The Arctic Sounder | Jul 21, 2012 I am not a boat captain, not of a skiff or even a dingy. I’ve never dropped an anchor and I have no idea what it’s like to be in charge of a vessel more than 500 feet long. So when my uneducated eyes saw […]

How rapidly is Shell Oil’s window of opportunity in the Arctic shrinking?

Alex DeMarban | Jul 21, 2012 As predictable as bears roaming and salmon migrating comes the return of another seasonal fact of life in Alaska: Shell Oil waiting for the chance to drill exploratory wells in the Arctic Ocean. The pioneering oil giant’s quest to open an industrial frontier in the waters off Alaska’s coast […]

Shell offshore drilling vessel Noble Discoverer drifts near shore in Unalaska

Alaska Dispatch | Jul 14, 2012 Royal Dutch Shell’s hopes to drill in Alaska’s Arctic this summer have been hitting some hurdles lately, with potential problems arising with air permits, a hiccup over an oil-spill containment barge docked in Washington state and now, the drill ship Noble Discoverer came unexpectedly close to shore Saturday in […]

Shell readies to roll dice on multibillion-dollar bet in Arctic Alaska

Alex DeMarban | Jun 30, 2012 Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series looking at Shell’s plans to drill for offshore oil in Alaska’s Arctic. Part 2 will look at the small revenue the state can expect from federal offshore development and congressional efforts to change that. Part 3 will focus on […]

Greenpeace, Shell show off Arctic assets in Seattle

Alaska Dispatch | Jun 11, 2012 Popular Mechanics reports on touring the Kulluk, an oil rig being refurbished by Royal Dutch Shell to drill off the Alaska Coast this July. The Kulluk, currently residing in Vigor Shipyards in Seattle, is being refurbished by Royal Dutch Shell after six years of inactivity. The modifications of the […]

Shell’s long road to explore for oil in Alaska’s Arctic

Mia Bennett | Eye on the Arctic | Jun 02, 2012 Analysis: On May 25, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) August 2011 decision to permit Shell to drill in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off Alaska’s north shore. The Native Village of Point Hope and the […]

Shell contracting Finnish icebreakers for Arctic oil exploration

Icebreaker Fennica will take part in Shell’s oil drilling project in the Arctic. Arctia Shipping photo Mar 08, 2012 Oil giant Shell is planning to start charting the seas for oil drilling in the Arctic, and Finnish icebreakers are coming along on the test drillings, even as Greenpeace says oil drilling in the Arctic is […]

Environmental groups weighing appeal of Shell’s air permit

Alaska Dispatch | Sep 21, 2011 Environmental groups say they’re reviewing air quality permits approved Monday by the federal government for Shell Oil, which hopes to drill offshore next year in Alaska’s Arctic. The Environmental Protection Agency authorized air emissions from Shell’s drill ship Discover and a support fleet of icebreakers, oil spill response vessels […]

Shell Alaska oil drilling rig heads south

Shell is moving its Arctic drill rig, the Kulluk, to Seattle for maintenance and technical upgrades. This according to the West Seattle Blog, which keeps a close eye on the industrial marine facilities there and saw the notice in a marine industry advisory. Actually, the popular hyperlocal online site is more interested in the fact […]

No Arctic science ‘silver bullet’

Patti Epler | Jun 23, 2011 A long-awaited federal report released Thursday points to numerous holes in scientific knowledge about the Arctic that could shed important light on how oil and gas development would affect the area. Now, the question is: what will anyone do with it? The 272-page document will undoubtedly end up in […]

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