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Shell moving rigs to north Alaska ahead of possible drilling permit

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 09.08.40Article by Carl Surran published 25 March 2015 by SeekingAlpha.com

Shell moving rigs to north Alaska ahead of possible drilling permit

  • Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) is moving oil rigs to Alaska in anticipation of the possible resumption of its Arctic drilling program two years after the grounding of a rig led to a huge uproar from environmental groups.
  • Also, Shell’s Arctic oil spill response system is undergoing drills in waters near Bellingham, Wash., with government officials observing the exercises; the drills were set to begin in earnest today and span several days, and are meant to put the equipment through its paces for regulators who will decide whether the company wins other critical government approvals.“
  • Bellingham, Wash. in March is not Barrow, Alaska in October,” Greenpeace retorts. “Even if these tests appear successful, they have almost no bearing on whether or not Shell can safely drill in the Arctic.”

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Shell conducts drills with Arctic oil spill response system

Alaska Dispatch

WASHINGTON — Shell’s Arctic oil spill response system is undergoing drills in waters near Bellingham, Washington, with government officials observing the exercises.

Shell Oil Co. is conducting the testing as it plans a new round of exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska later this year.

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US industry group pushes for arctic lease changes

Washington, 27 March (Argus) — The US National Petroleum Council (NPC) is urging policy makers to rethink the leasing terms governing arctic oil and gas exploration.

With Russia, Norway, Canada and Greenland all keen to test the waters at the top of the world, the industry advisory group told the US Department of Energy in a new report today that US policy makers must help facilitate oil and gas exploration in the arctic to help offset an anticipated decline in US oil production sometime after 2020.

The NPC warns that the long lead times needed to develop projects in the arctic mean that exploration off the coast of Alaska must ramp up this decade if new sources of oil are to become available in the 2030s and 2040s.

ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson said the industry views the resource potential in the US arctic “as attractive if not more attractive than arctic resource potential in other nations.”

But with the practical drilling season in the arctic sometimes as little as 40-60 days, the NPC called on US regulators to increase lease terms, calling today’s 10-year lease duration “inadequate”.

Shell upstream Americas director Marvin Odum said “it makes sense to have longer lease terms. The season is short. The regulatory process is more onerous. It is going to take more time and that should be recognized, at least.”

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