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Posts Tagged ‘Chukchi Sea’

Shell has made a costly call to abandon Alaska

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Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 14.19.16Kamal AhmedBusiness editor: 28 Sept 2015

It could have been Hillary Clinton’s tweet that did it.

Just after the US government had given the go-ahead for Shell to restart its exploration in Alaska, the Democratic presidential candidate took to the social media site.

“The Arctic is a unique treasure,” Mrs Clinton said on Twitter. “Given what we know now, it’s not worth the risk of drilling.”

Which seemed to ignore the fact that drilling has been taking place in the Arctic for decades – for example oil was first discovered in one of the main basins, Prudhoe Bay, in 1968.

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Shell pulls the plug on Arctic exploration

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Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 09.34.13Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:21am EDT

By Karolin Schaps

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude, a move that will appease environmental campaigners and shareholders who said its project was too expensive and risky.

The withdrawal came six weeks after the final U.S. clearance and three months after Shell was still defending the project, a rapid change of heart for such a large company that showed it is preparing for a prolonged period of low oil prices while trying to close its $70 billion takeover of rival BG.

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Tapped out? Shell ending Arctic offshore oil exploration after test well disappoints

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25FoxNews.com: Sept 28, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell said early Monday that it was ceasing offshore oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters after a test well yielded unsatisfactory amounts of oil and gas.

The announcement was a huge blow to Shell, which was counting on offshore drilling in Alaska to help it drive future revenue and had poured billions in investment and years of work into the exploratory well. Environmentalists, however, had tried repeatedly to block the project, and welcome the news.

A statement from the company’s headquarters in The Hague said Shell was ending exploration off Alaska “for the forseeable future” after what it called “a clearly disappointing exploration outcome.”

Shell said it had found indications of oil and gas in the well in the Chukchi Sea, about 80 miles off Alaska’s northwest coast. However, the petroleum was not in quantities sufficient to warrant additional exploration in that portion of the basin, the company added.

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Shell’s Arctic oil well comes up dry

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25September 28, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — After spending $7 billion and seven years searching for oil under Arctic waters, Royal Dutch Shell on Monday said its quest had come up dry.

Shell announced that its exploratory oil well in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska encountered “indications of oil and gas” that are “not sufficient to warrant further exploration” — a significant blow for the Anglo-Dutch firm that had hoped to find a multibillion barrel crude reservoir in those remote waters.

“Shell continues to see important exploration potential in the basin, and the area is likely to ultimately be of strategic importance to Alaska and the U.S.,” said Marvin Odum, director of Shell Upstream Americas. “However, this is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome for this part of the basin.”

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Shell abandons contentious Arctic exploration after poor results

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25Christopher Adams, Energy Editor: Sept 28: 7.28am

Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned a contentious Arctic drilling campaign off the coast of Alaska and is preparing to take billions of dollars in writedowns after its exploration efforts failed to make a significant discovery.

However, the company said in a statement on Monday that while it had found “indications” of oil and gas, “these are not sufficient to warrant further exploration” in the area.

“Shell will now cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future. This decision reflects both the Burger J well result, the high costs associated with the project, and the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska,” it said.

FULL FT ARTICLE

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Giant ‘dying polar bear’ appears outside Shell UK headquarters in protest over Arctic drilling

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BY KARA O’NEILL: 21 Sept 2015

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A giant dying polar bear has been placed outside the headquarters of oil and gas company Shell in a bid to stop their Arctic drilling programme.

British actress Emma Thompson was among the protesters who manoeuvred the three-tone puppet into place, locking six people inside so the bear cannot be moved.

The bear, which is the size of a double decker bus, and is named Aurora (after the Northern Lights) is intended to sit outside the company’s headquarter in South Bank, London, until they cease their drilling.

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Why we MUST drill for oil in the Arctic: Shell boss’s message to climate change campaigners and governments

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By JON REES, FINANCIAL MAIL ON SUNDAY: 20 Sept 2015

Some green campaigners seem to believe Shell boss Ben van Beurden would be happy dunking polar bears in thick, black crude oil if it helped make the planet even hotter.

But van Beurden, the 57-year-old engineer who has run Royal Dutch Shell for nearly two years and has given the company the green light to drill in Arctic waters, believes his view of the world’s future is considerably more honest than that of many environmentalists.

‘The amount of energy we consume is going to double in the first half of the century so we will have to supply twice as much as we do today as an industry. Most renewables produce electricity, and electricity is just 20 per cent of the energy mix. Where is the other 80 per cent going to come from?’ says the Dutchman.

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IF SHELL FINDS OIL IN CHUKCHI SEA, WHAT NEXT?

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Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 09.26.5318 September 2015

The short drilling season for oil exploration in U.S. Arctic offshore waters will reach one stopping point Sept. 28 and a complete halt Oct. 31 for Royal Dutch Shell Plc. The company has been drilling since July 30 at the Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska. If oil is discovered, it will require some very interesting and complicated development decisions and regulatory considerations.

Shell has come a long way to get this far. It acquired a set of leases over the Burger prospect in 2008 and has spent about $7 billion on trying to develop the leases. Shell, operating through its subsidiary Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc., did not report a discovery from the well it drilled in 2012, and no one has ever yet discovered oil in the Chukchi — not oil in commercial quantities, at any rate. A dry hole is always a possibility.

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Actors join campaign to draw attention to Arctic issue

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Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 23.17.56By DAN JOLING: 18 Sept 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Critics of Arctic offshore petroleum drilling have used climbing gear, kayaks and polar bear costumes to protest industrial activity in the Arctic. They’re now trying humor.

Actors Alexander Skarsgard of “True Blood” and Jack McBrayer of “30 Rock,” along with Andy Bichlbaum of “The Yes Men” activists, are on a Greenpeace ship in the Greenland Sea with a team from the Funny or Die production company to make a comedy series focused on industrial threats to the Arctic.

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Optimism & Outrage: Shell’s $7 Billion Arctic Oil Gamble

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Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 23.33.36by CYNTHIA MCFADDEN and JAKE WHITMAN: SEP 17 2015

At Royal Dutch Shell’s operations center in Anchorage, the cries of outrage that greeted the start of offshore drilling in the Arctic are drowned out by optimism.

The energy giant’s president, Marvin Odum, told NBC News that he’s confident that the $7 billion already spent to find oil under the sea — a bet that no other company is making in the American Arctic — was the right business decision.

And he says he’s also certain that Shell can handle any accident that might unfold during exploration or extraction, which wouldn’t even happen until 2030.

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Shell CEO: Alaska drilling efforts could end after this season

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 22.47.40September 17, 2015

If Shell’s Chukchi Sea drilling operations manage to penetrate underground rock formations in waters off Alaska’s north coast this season and don’t find oil, that could be the end of the company’s controversial Arctic efforts, according to a report from the BBC.

“Our plan for the Arctic is to find out whether there is any oil in the Chukchi Sea,” Shell CEO Ben van Beurden told the British news outlet.

“We are in the middle of that drilling campaign and we have to see at the end of the season whether we get into the reservoir. If these results are conclusively no, then it will probably be the end of the road for our Alaska adventure.”

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Shell will not sanction Arctic exploration until at least 2020

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Kamal AhmedBusiness editor: 17 Sept 2015

As it moves, gingerly, through the first stages of exploration 70 miles off the Alaskan coast, Royal Dutch Shell has revealed its commitment to drilling in the Arctic.

And how long it will be before any oil or gas actually comes out of the ground – if at all.

Despite environmental concerns and the low oil price, Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief executive, told me that as the world’s energy demands increased, the hunt for new resources was as important as ever.

The Arctic, he points out, has long been a source of oil and gas production. Environmental safety would be the priority, he insisted.

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Jewell says ‘Keep It in the Ground’ movement simplistic, country too reliant on fossil fuels

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The Kulluk is an Arctic drill rig owned by Royal Dutch Shell. In 2012, the rig ran aground off Sitkalidak Island near Kodiak Island. The highly publicized incident was used by drilling opponents as an example of Shell’s lack of qualifications to drill in the Arctic. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis/U.S. Coast Guard)

By Liz Ruskin, APRN-WashingtonSeptember 16, 2015

Hundreds of environmental groups are uniting under a new banner to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. It’s called: “Keep It in the Ground.”

They’re asking President Obama to stop new petroleum leases on public lands. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell rejected the idea in a meeting with reporters today.

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Ghost of Exxon Valdez Haunts Shell in the Arctic

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Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 23.33.36Andy Rowell, September 11, 2015

There are many contradictions about Shell’s Arctic misadventure to drill for oil, but three are the most striking: Firstly the company is spending billions of dollars and risking the reputation of the company on oil that can never be burnt.

Secondly, Obama having just allowed the company to start drilling in the Arctic, then visits the region to warn about climate change; something that his Administration has just made worse.

And thirdly, Shell says it can adequately clean up any spill in the region, if there is an accident. That last promise is for want of a better word, a lie. The only way to clean up a spill in the Arctic is not to spill oil in the first place. The bottom line is that any oil spilt in the Arctic may never be cleaned up, and its legacy may last decades, or even longer.

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Analysts predict oil price plunge: Oversupply could drive Brent Crude to $20, warns Goldman Sachs

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Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 23.09.34By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAIL: 11 September 2015

The price of oil could fall as low as $20, Goldman Sachs warned last night.

As fears about China’s growth continued, the Wall Street giant’s stark analysis of the global crude market pummelled prices again yesterday.

The price of Brent Crude fell more than 2 per cent after analysts at Goldman and Commerzbank slashed their forecasts. Oil has more than halved since last summer as supply increased due to the surging production of the US shale industry.

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Shell Exits Climate Change Group Amid Arctic Drilling Plan – FT

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25Fri, 11th Sep 2015

LONDON (Alliance News) – Royal Dutch Shell has left an influential climate-change lobbying group sponsored by the Prince of Wales amid concern about the company’s attitude to environmental issues, the Financial Times reported Friday.

The Corporate Leaders Group released news that Shell had left, but did not state a reason for the FTSE 100-listed company’s departure, but people close to the group told the Financial Times that the oil major?s corporate policies, which include the controversial programme to drill for oil in the Arctic, made its membership of the group increasingly difficult.

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Shell’s big gamble: Oil wrangling at the far reaches of the Arctic frontier

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By Steven Mufson September 11

Shell Oil Co.’s president Marvin Odum made the trip on Sept. 2 from Houston to this northern-most town in the United States, a spot whose traditional name, Ukpeagvik, means “place where snowy owls are hunted.”

Odum is here hunting, too, for oil offshore and political support from Alaska Natives living in Barrow, a ramshackle town of muddy streets, littered with all-terrain vehicles and guarded by snow fences on one side and on the other a four-foot-high earthen berm to protect against high winds and seas.

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Shell leaves climate project it helped set up amid Arctic drilling row

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Shell has been forced to leave a Prince of Wales climate change project which it helped found after a row over the oil company’s controversial drilling programme in the ArcticThe departure from the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leader Group is another embarrassing setback for the oil and gas company, which has been battling to preserve its reputation in the face of a vociferous and growing campaign against its operations in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of AlaskaGreenpeace said the Anglo-Dutch group was rapidly becoming a pariah in the business world.

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Russian intelligence ship spotted near American oil vessel

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25The ship was part of a Shell-contracted ship that is exploring for oil in the Chukchi Sea, which is north of the Bering Strait and lies between Alaska and Russia.

By Jake Tapper and Jeremy Diamond, CNN: Sept 7. 2015

Washington (CNN)A Russian intelligence vessel was spotted near a ship contracted by the American Shell Oil Company exploring for oil in the Arctic, sources told CNN on Monday.

Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis confirmed the sighting to CNN on Monday and said no U.S. defense assets were deployed in response.

“We aware of the Russian vessel Kurily sailing in the vicinity of the Nobel Discoverer,” Davis said. “We recognize the rights of all sovereign nations to freely navigate in international waters.”

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How to Invest in Arctic Developments After Obama’s Alaska Trip

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Arctic developments have great potential, but are they worth the risks?

By Debbie CarlsonSept. 7, 2015

As climate change melts some of the Arctic’s permafrost, natural resource companies and shippers are eyeing the potential to develop a region that is receiving renewed public attention from President Barack Obama’s trip to Alaska.

According to global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council, worldwide investment in the region could reach $100 billion over the next decade. The Northwest Passage and Northern Sea Route could potentially decrease travel times between the U.S., Europe and Asia by 40 percent, while the value of hydrocarbon deposits – crude oil and natural gas – located in the U.S. Arctic alone could exceed $1 trillion. The region is also home to rich metal deposits.

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Melting Ice Isn’t Opening Arctic to Oil Bonanza

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25By STEVEN LEE MYERS and CLIFFORD KRAUSSSEPT. 7, 2015

TERIBERKA, Russia — The warming Arctic should already have transformed this impoverished fishing village on the coast of the Barents Sea.

The Kremlin spent billions in the last decade in hopes of turning it into a northern hub of its global energy powerhouse, Gazprom. It was once the most ambitious project planned in the Arctic Ocean, but now there is little to show for it aside from a shuttered headquarters and an enormous gravel road carved out of the windblown coastline like a scar.

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Shell Oil president reports progress in Arctic offshore drilling off Alaska’s

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25The Arctic ecosystem is already weakened because the ice is melting, yet Shell is willing to risk an oil spill there that they wouldn’t be able to clean up.

By Mo Ahmad – September 4, 2015

Alaska’s fiscal crisis seemed unimaginable only a few years ago when oil fields in the North Slope brought in revenue that allowed the state to forego sales and income taxes while issuing yearly checks to every resident and banking billions for rainy days. “Now we’re coming out of that and it looks like we’re moving into a time period of good weather”.

However, Obama will speak on Monday in Alaska about the necessity to take urgent and aggressive action against climate change, during a three-day trip to raise awareness on the effects of global warming. The Arctic ecosystem is already weakened because the ice is melting, yet Shell is willing to risk an oil spill there that they wouldn’t be able to clean up.

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How Royal Dutch Shell Is Addressing Its Dividend Concerns

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Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 22.49.59Christopher F. Davis: Sept 3, 2015

Summary

  • This article is a follow-up to my prior article addressing the company’s dividend concerns.
  • History won’t always repeat itself, so I felt I would talk about what the company is doing in detail and expand on my thoughts.
  • I am betting history continues.

As you know, Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) has been crushed in the last three months, and of course, over the last year since oil began its sell-off. At the time of this writing, oil is hovering around $40 and oil stocks have come off of their lows from last week. However, it could get worse before it gets better. Last week I wrote an article that addressed the Royal Dutch Shell dividend concerns. It was a highly controversial article, to tell you the truth. But it is important. The stock has a 7.5% yield right now. It did NOT raise its dividend to get here. It is not a red flag dividend. It is a result of rampant selling in the oil sector.

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What’s at stake for Alaska in Shell’s Arctic exploration? Plenty

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The Transocean Polar Pioneer sits in the Chukchi Sea on Aug. 5, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 23.33.36Paul Fuhs: September 2, 2015

A lot has been said by many people about Shell’s Arctic drilling program but I have yet to see a real analysis of what it would mean for Alaska and our people.

Some have said: “Well, it is in federal waters so we won’t get anything out of it.” I just don’t believe that is true. Here are some of the direct benefits we will receive if Shell is successful in their endeavors.

The current throughput of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline is about 400,000 barrels a day and declining by about 5 percent a year. It has been estimated that below 200,000 barrels a day the pipeline will not be able to operate. A study by the Idaho National Energy Lab estimates that if this were to occur, we would strand at least 1 billion barrels of oil on the North Slope.

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Emma Thompson broke a legal injunction at Shell Centre

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  • The actress broke a legal injunction aimed at stopping Greenpeace activists from crossing a line drawn around the South Bank building 
  • She stuck a giant paw print on the offices with the names of opponents of drilling in the Arctic
  • Shell has been given permission by the US government to drill for oil and gas in Arctic waters off Alaska 
  • Greenpeace a giant model polar bear and placed it outside Shell’s HQ
  • The envoronmentalists aim to keep it there for 27 days, which will mark the end of the window for drilling in the Arctic

By ANTHONY JOSEPH FOR MAILONLINE: 2 September 2015

Emma Thompson and a roaring giant model polar bear led the protests against Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic outside its London headquarters.

The actress broke a legal injunction, aimed at stopping Greenpeace activists from crossing a line drawn around the South Bank building, to stick a giant paw print on the offices with the names of opponents of drilling in the Arctic.

The paw carries thousands of names which make up some of the seven million people worldwide, including 600,000 signatures from the UK, who have pledged support to save the Arctic from drilling for oil and gas.

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Act of Mass Defiance Against a Shell Legal Injunction today

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Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 23.33.36Emma Thompson joins Arctic drilling protest against Shell in London

Seven million people have joined the Arctic movement by signing up at savethearctic.org/ArcticRoar. More than 600,000 from the UK.

02 Sept 2015

Acclaimed British actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson has just announced she will be joining an act of mass defiance against a Shell legal injunction later today, in protest against the company’s Arctic oil drilling.

Speaking after performing a self-penned poem in front of the oil giant’s HQ, Ms Thompson told the press she is going to be the first of scores of people to break a legal injunction banning Greenpeace UK staff and activists from crossing a line drawn around the Shell building on the South Bank.

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Greenpeace activists install giant polar bear outside Shell’s London headquarters

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Rose Troup Buchanan: Wednesday 02 September 2015

Greenpeace campaigners, including actress Emma Thompson, installed an inflatable polar bear the size of a double-decker bus outside Shell’s London headquarters to demonstrate against the company’s drilling in the Arctic on Wednesday.

The sixty-odd activists, six of who are attached to the three-tonne bear named Aurora, moved into place at around 4am this morning. The bear will “roar” throughout the morning.

Greenpeace is demanding Shell halt drilling in Arctic, which the environmental group says is placing the area at extreme risk of an oil spill. Researchers claim the company’s drilling is incompatible with limiting global warming to no more than two degrees above pre-industrial levels.

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Mr. Obama’s Urgent Arctic Message

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Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 23.33.36By THE EDITORIAL BOARD SEPT. 1, 2015

A version of this editorial appears in print on September 2, 2015, on page A24 of the New York edition

A presidential trip has enormous power to focus attention on a place and an issue, and President Obama’s trip to Alaska has been minutely choreographed with visits to glaciers, threatened Inuit villages and the like to provide a stunning and alarming context to his message on the urgent need to address climate change.

Four times in a 24-minute speech in Anchorage he declared that “we’re not acting fast enough,” a message especially true in the countdown to December’s United Nations climate conference in Paris. This will be the most ambitious effort by the world’s nations to produce an equitable deal on reducing greenhouse gases, and the United States, as the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon gases (after China), must be at the forefront of the effort.

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Shell President: ‘Oil Will Be Required for a Long Time’

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Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 23.33.36ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Sep 2, 2015, 12:31 AM ET

By DAN JOLING Associated Press

The president of Shell Oil Co. said Tuesday exploratory drilling off Alaska’s northwest coast is going well despite stormy weather last week that caused the company to halt operations for a few days.

And in an interview with The Associated Press Marvin Odum said he expects further protests against the company’s plans for Arctic drilling like the ones in Seattle and Portland where activists in kayaks tried to block Shell vessels.

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Alaska seeks balanced energy agenda

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Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 23.33.36State leader sees the oil era ending, but development still vital to Alaska’s economy.

By Daniel J. Graeber     |   Sept. 1, 2015 

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Sept. 1 (UPI) — Alaska needs to exploit its vast natural resources, but do so in a way that heeds the growing threats of climate changes, the state’s lieutenant governor said.

President Barack Obama is in Alaska touting the dual agenda of taking the steps needed to slow the impacts of climate change while ensuring state revenue from the oil and gas industry remains durable. Obama’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time signing off on arctic drilling permits for Royal Dutch Shell has earned both praise and condemnation.

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Drilling in the Arctic could lock us into catastrophic climate change

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Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 23.33.36Annie Leonard: Sept 1, 2015

The Arctic sits at the forefront of a rapidly destabilizing climate, and this week President Obama traveled there to highlight the urgency of our world’s climate crisis. We commend the president for his leadership, and yet this trip comes on the heels of his administration’s decision to allow Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean, a move that seriously undermines his climate legacy.

Carbon pollution from companies like Shell, history’s sixth largest greenhouse gas polluter, is destroying our climate, and drilling in the Arctic could lock us into runaway climate change, catastrophic climate change really. Rapidly melting ice means previously inaccessible oil and gas is now squarely in Shell’s sights. Shell has already sunk $7 billion into oil exploration in the Arctic, a down payment to get a toehold into the region’s massive energy reserve. Shell has already called the effort a “game changer” for domestic energy production.

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Obama’s approval of Arctic drilling ‘undermines his climate message’

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US president’s call for action on climate change is at odds with letting Shell drill for oil in the Arctic, says Bill McKibben

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Shell Arctic Drilling Plans

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANSep 1, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) drilling operations in the Arctic had been temporarily halted due to adverse weather conditions in the region. The company has now resumed part of its operations and has also indicated that drilling plans will continue in full swing once the company completes a comprehensive system check on its operations.

This is the first time since 2012 when Shell will resume operations in the Arctic. Shell halted drilling in the region when its Kulluk rig went aground. At that time, the company was blamed for not fully assessing the situation and failing to evaluate the risks associated with drilling in the Arctic region.

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Obama on Climate Change: Act Now or Condemn World to a Nightmare

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by HALIMAH ABDULLAH and M. ALEX JOHNSON: NEWS SEP 1 2015

In a forceful address, Obama opened the “GLACIER” conference in Anchorage, Alaska, by declaring: “We are not moving fast enough. None of the nations represented here are moving fast enough.”

Just weeks ago, Obama gave final approval to Shell Oil’s drilling in the Alaskan Arctic for the first time in 20 years — a move that raised the hackles of environmentalists, who accused his administration of hypocrisy.

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Shell Resumes Operations After Storm Force Arctic Stop

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Aug 31, 2015, 10:31 PM ET

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has resumed operations after high winds and rough seas north of Alaska’s northern coast put a temporary stop to exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

But Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says in a Monday email to The Associated Press that full operations, including drilling, will start again once a systems check is complete and the company is satisfied it’s safe to start drilling again.

He says there’s no timeline for that to be completed.

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In Alaska, Obama Highlights Climate Change While His Decisions Draw Accusations of ‘Hypocrisy’

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Kate SheppardSenior reporter/Environment and energy editor, The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — As President Barack Obama visits Alaska this week, he is facing criticism and outright outrage from environmental advocates who say his focus on climate change while in the region contradicts his administration’s decision to allow Shell to drill there.

The administration granted Shell permission to begin exploratory oil and gas drilling in the Chukchi Sea this summer. And Obama plans to put a major emphasis on climate change during his visit to Alaska, the frontline of climate change’s effects in the United States. Environmental groups say the mixed messaging from Obama constitutes “climate hypocrisy.” The liberal group Credo Action put up a website mocking Obama’s visit as his “Mission Accomplished” moment, likening it to George W. Bush’s 2003 speech declaring that the U.S. had “prevailed” in Iraq.

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Discussing the costs of disaster for offshore US oil : Regulation and Environment

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Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 08.10.57In this week’s Oilgram News column, Regulation and Environment, Gary Gentile asks if the risks associated with ultra-deepwater oil production endeavors are properly disclosed to shareholders.

By Gary Gentile | August 31, 2015

Opponents of offshore drilling in frontier environments, such as the Arctic, have opened up a new front in their effort to curtail such efforts — asking US financial regulators to require more robust disclosure of the risks involved.

A group of Democrats in the US Congress have asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to force companies to tell investors the cost of a catastrophic accident resulting from drilling in ultra-deepwaters or in the harsh and remote waters off the coast of Alaska.

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Arctic Drilling: A Giant Gamble for the Planet and Shell’s Bottom Line

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Kieran Cooke, Climate News Network | August 31, 201

Shell is betting on finding the oil industry’s Holy Grail: according to 2008 estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Arctic contains more than 20 percent of the world’s remaining hydrocarbon resources—including at least 90 billion barrels of oil.

If Shell does strike oil in big quantities maybe its gamble will pay off—and its anxious shareholders can look forward to handsome payouts.

But the whole venture is a high-risk business. The decision by the U.S. administration to allow Shell to start drilling in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska, is highly controversial.

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Obama set to visit Alaska’s Arctic Circle amid charges of hypocrisy

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25Environmental advocates say decision to permit Shell to set rig off Alaska has tarnished president’s climate legacy

August 31, 2015 

by Renee Lewis @Renee5Lewis55 & Michael Pizzi @michaelwpizzi

President Barack Obama is set to become the first serving U.S. president to witness firsthand the impact of global warming in Alaska’s Arctic Circle when he visits the state this week to press for urgent action against climate change. But many activists have charged him with hypocrisy following his administration’s recent decision to formalize Royal Dutch Shell’s permit to drill for oil off Alaska’s northwest coast. Protests against the administration’s policies are planned Monday in Anchorage, Seattle and Portland.

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700 Walrus Seen Near Shell Oil Rigs in Arctic as Obama Visits Alaska

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World View | August 31, 2015

Thousands of Pacific walrus are coming ashore on the northwest Arctic coast of Alaska, repeating a migratory change for the walrus which U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have called a clear effect of loss of Arctic Ocean sea ice on which the animals rely. As the walrus swim south from the preferred but now ice-free feeding ground, Hanna Shoal in the Chukchi Sea, many are passing close enough to the flotilla of Shell Oil ships on its drill site to be seen from the ships.

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Oil prices slide as Obama lets Shell drill in the Arctic

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25As the giant Shell oil company begins highly controversial and risky exploration drilling in the Arctic, the price of crude continues to slide. Kieran Cooke from Climate News Network reports: 31 August 2015

It’s a gamble — some would say a giant gamble. Before even one litre of oil has been found, the Anglo-Dutch Shell group is believed to have spent more than US$7 billion just making preparations for its latest Arctic venture.

Shell is betting on finding the oil industry’s Holy Grail: according to 2008 estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Arctic contains more than 20 per cent of the world’s remaining hydrocarbon resources — including at least 90 billion barrels of oil.

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Obama’s Alaska Visit Puts Climate, Not Energy, in Forefront

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By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS: AUG. 31, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Obama will travel to Alaska on Monday to call for urgent and aggressive action to tackle climate change, capitalizing on a poignant tableau of melting glaciers, crumbling permafrost and rising sea levels to illustrate the immediacy of an issue he hopes to make a central element of his legacy.

But during a three-day trip choreographed to lend spectacular visuals and real-world examples to Mr. Obama’s message on global warming, he will pay little heed to the oil and gas drilling offshore that he allowed to go forward just this month, a move that activists say is an unsavory blot on an otherwise ambitious climate record.

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Records detail equipment failure on Arctic drilling rig

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25“The company’s repeated failures in basic readiness tests show that when things go wrong in the Arctic ocean, it will be a disaster…”

By Jennifer A. Dlouhy: August 30, 2015

WASHINGTON — Newly released documents reveal the extent of problems with anti-pollution equipment on a Shell-contracted Arctic drillship earlier this year.

The records, provided by the U.S. Coast Guard in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, also describe a botched fire drill by the crew of another Shell-contracted drilling rig months before it began boring an exploratory oil well in the Chukchi Sea.

That rig, the Transocean Polar Pioneer, was moored in Seattle and being prepared for its Arctic mission in May, when the Coast Guard conducted an initial inspection and two emergency drills onboard.

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U.S. Is Seen as Laggard as Russia Asserts Itself in Warming Arctic

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Sources: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, IBRU at Durham University, Bordermap Consulting, KlimaCampus Integrated Climate Data Center, U.S. Geological Survey: By The New York Times

By STEVEN LEE MYERSAUG. 29, 2015

ABOARD COAST GUARD CUTTER ALEX HALEY, in the Chukchi Sea — With warming seas creating new opportunities at the top of the world, nations are scrambling over the Arctic — its territorial waters, transit routes and especially its natural resources — in a rivalry some already call a new Cold War.

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President Obama Defends Shell Arctic Drilling Decision

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN: Aug 29, 2015 

Critics argue that allowing Shell to explore Arctic for oil goes against the country’s stance on climate change

President Obama has defended his decision to grant approval for drilling in the Arctic region, ahead of his trip to Alaska. Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) had been seeking the US government’s permission to conduct oil exploration in offshore Arctic. Last month, Shell was granted permission to drill a well off the coast of Alaska. The decision has been criticized heavily, as environmentalists have been quick to point out the risks associated with drilling in the Arctic.

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, announced earlier this month, has also come in the line of fire. The plan, which calls for a 32% reduction in carbon emissions from power plants in the US, is aimed at reducing the country’s carbon footprint, as the US tries to lead the charge in the battle against climate change. Critics argue that allowing Shell to explore Arctic for oil goes against the country’s stance on climate change.

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Obama says climate change is real, despite what skeptics say

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Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 23.11.41“We made it clear that Shell has to meet our high standards in how they conduct their operations – and it’s a testament to how rigorous we’ve applied those standards that Shell has delayed and limited its exploration off Alaska while trying to meet them.”

By Bruce Alpert, NOLA.com | Times-Picayune: 29 August 2015

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama Saturday (Aug. 29 pressed the case for urgent action to combat climate change, while defending his administration from criticism by environmental critics unhappy with its approval of Shell’s plan to drill off Alaska’s coast.

“I share people’s concerns about offshore drilling. I remember the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico all too well,” Obama said in his weekly radio address.

“That’s precisely why my administration has worked to make sure that our oil exploration conducted under these leases is done at the highest standards possible, with requirements specifically tailored to the risks of drilling off Alaska,” the president said. “We don’t rubber-stamp permits.  We made it clear that Shell has to meet our high standards in how they conduct their operations – and it’s a testament to how rigorous we’ve applied those standards that Shell has delayed and limited its exploration off Alaska while trying to meet them.”

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Shell offshore drilling application prompts conflict-of-interest charge

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By Charles Mandel | August 29th 2015

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Shell Canada Limited is applying to bring offshore drilling to Nova Scotia’s waters. But environmentalists are raising alarm bells over potential conflict of interest, as the group reviewing Shell’s application — the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) — includes a board member who worked at Shell Canada and Royal Dutch Shell for 30 years.

The federal Privy Council Office re-appointed Douglas Gregory as an alternate board member in March, 2014.

Gregory’s background includes work as an exploration geophysicist in Canada; and in 1999 opening Shell Canada’s exploration office, focused on deep water seismic exploration within Nova Scotia’s waters.

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Obama defends Shell Arctic drilling decision

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25By AFP 29 August 2015

Two days before heading to Alaska to raise climate change awareness, US President Barack Obama on Saturday defended his controversial decision to allow Shell to drill in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea.

The Obama administration’s green light for the Anglo-Dutch oil giant angered environmental groups which have decried the “hypocrisy” of the president, who in recent months has stressed the need for aggressive actions against climate change.

Opponents note how the decision comes in the run-up to the UN climate conference in Paris in December. The meeting is seen as crucial in efforts to forge an agreement to curb international emissions.

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Shell Pauses Arctic Offshore Drilling for High Wind, Water

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 22.14.12ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Aug 28, 2015

By DAN JOLING Associated Press


Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25Strong winds and high waves that pounded the northern coast of Alaska have led Royal Dutch Shell PLC to temporarily stop exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

“Due to high wind and sea states, we have paused all critical operations in the Chukchi Sea,” said spokesman Curtis Smith in an email response to questions.

The eastern Chukchi Sea this week experienced gale-force winds in the range of 39 to 54 p.m., said Ed Townsend, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Fairbanks. Winds at Point Lay on Alaska’s northwest coast about 9 a.m. Friday blew steadily at 29 mph with gusts to 37 mph.

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Why Shell Announced Force Majeure On Nigerian Bonny Crude Export

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANAug 28, 2015

On Thursday, August 27, Royal Dutch Shell plc’s (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) Nigerian unit closed down its two crude pipeline and declared “force majeure” on export of Bonny Light crude, as reported by Reuters.

The Hague-based company closed the Trans Niger Pipeline at Oloma because of a leakage in the pipeline. The company closed down its Nembe Creek Trunkline to stop theft and vandalism of crude oil in the vicinity. Furthermore, the company is working on the maintenance of the pipeline. However, it did not state any timeline for restarting its operation.

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