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Environmentalists score a little discussed big win in Arctic drilling plans

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Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 18.39.24May 19 2015, 14:48 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Environmentalists score a little discussed big win in Arctic drilling plans

  • Environmentalists angered by the Obama administration’s approval of Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDS.A, RDS.B) broad plan for boring exploratory oil wells in the Chukchi Sea seem to have overlooked that they scored a major victory in one respect.
  • The approval and newly proposed government mandates for Arctic oil development insist that Shell and other companies drilling in the region keep a second rig nearby to bore a relief well in case of a blowout, like the one that destroyed BP’s Gulf of Mexico well in 2010; Shell is being forced to shave off roughly a month of precious potential drilling days to leave time to bore a relief well in case of such an emergency.
  • Oil industry lobbyists fought the relief well requirement, at one point convincing a White House inter-agency review office that it is unnecessary and prohibitively expensive, but top Interior Department officials ended up winning out, insisting that it is essential to have all equipment on hand to act swiftly in case of an emergency at the remote, forbidding and often-frozen Arctic.

SOURCE

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