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Shell’s Chukchi drill plan ruled ‘complete’ by MMS

Anchorage Daily News

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Published: October 21st, 2009 09:03 PM
Last Modified: October 21st, 2009 09:04 PM

The federal Minerals Management Service this week deemed Shell Oil’s application to drill exploration wells in the Chukchi Sea next year to be complete.

That triggers a 30-day deadline for the MMS to review the plan and decide whether to approve it, reject it or require changes.

A previous Shell plan for drilling in the Chukchi was rejected by a federal judge, who ordered a new analysis of the impacts of the drilling.

Shell said this week it hopes to drill one or two wells in the Chukchi. Also next year, it hopes to drill two exploration wells in the Beaufort Sea, west of Kaktovik in Camden Bay. On Monday, the MMS gave its conditional approval to Shell’s Beaufort exploration plan. The company has not yet received any permits to drill, however.

Environmental groups oppose Shell’s proposals to drill offshore in the Arctic due to uncertainty about the cleanup of oil spills in pack ice and other environmental risks.

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