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Arctic Standards Won’t Be Ready For Shell’s Return

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 17.18.55From an article by Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media: February 2, 2015

“Arctic Standards Won’t Be Ready For Shell’s Return”

After Shell’s troubled 2012 drilling season in the far north, the Interior Department began working on Arctic-specific standards for offshore drilling.

But those new standards aren’t done yet. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says they won’t be in place to guide Shell’s planned return to the Chukchi Sea this year.

“As Shell indicated just recently that they were going to go forward with their exploration plan this summer, we’ll be holding them to the standards that we’ve held them to before, with upgrades and proof that they can do what they say they do before they’re allowed to go up there,” Jewell told reporters in a press call today, primarily talking about the president’s budget for her department.

Jewell didn’t say when the Arctic standards would be released for public review but indicated it would not be in the coming weeks.

“We’ve been working closely with industry and learning from the lessons Shell experienced in 2012 in formulating those,” she said.

The standards are expected to require things like well containment systems and rigs on hand to drill relief wells and also limit the season.


Shell’s Simon Henry says its not difficult to drill in the Arctic Seas: 31 October 2014

Drilling in Alaskan Arctic relatively easy said Shell VP before being fired: 18 November 2014 and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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