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What’s Latest On Protest Against Royal Dutch Shell plc In Seattle?

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What’s Latest On Protest Against Royal Dutch Shell plc In Seattle?

Bidness Etc takes a look at the latest developments taking place in Seattle as the activists oppose the terminal’s use on the Port of Seattle by Shell to park its Polar Pioneer rig

By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: Jun 9, 2015 

Multiple developments have taken place in Seattle as the protest against Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) has intensified. The oil major is, currently using the Terminal 5 of the Port of Seattle to park its Polar Pioneer rig.

This week on Wednesday, the rig is expected to commence its journey to Alaska, according to Reuters. However, the shipping company, Foss Maritime and the energy giant have not yet issued any statement publicly regarding the shipping of the rig. Activists in Seattle claim that the police destroyed the staging area, which was the focal point for the local protestors.

Many activists have voiced their protest against the offshore drilling in Alaska as it can lead to a similar incident such as Deepwater Horizon oil spill back in 2010, which resulted in the death of over a dozen rig workers and an ecological disaster in the region. Following the spill, BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) has already $42 billion in fines and compensations. This year, the Obama Administration gave the company a conditional approval to commence offshore drilling in Chukchi Sea in the Arctic Ocean.

This summer, Shell intends to drill the Arctic Alaska Petroleum Province. The region has 28 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil and 128 trillion feet of natural gas reserves at present. On the basis of current crude oil prices, the crude oil reserves can alone generate profits of nearly $280 billion in the future.

According to Colin Chilcoat, Shell has termed the Arctic region as the “biggest source of crude oil globally within the next 20 years.”

However, Shell does not have a stellar performance in preventing the oil spills. Back in 2012, drilling rigs broke loose in its anchor, located on Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. The same year, another rig, Kulluk after losing control, ran aground. Following these events, the company deferred its operations in the region in 2013 and 2014.

The Mayor of Seattle, Ed Murray and his fellow colleagues have also raised concerns regarding the use of Port of Seattle for parking the rig. Meanwhile, the authorities at Port of Seattle have authorized the Terminal 5’s two-year lease for the Arctic drilling fleet of Shell as it will generate nearly $13.2 million in collections and also generate around 400 jobs.

To prevent this, the protestors intend to stop the rig from leaving the terminal. This will be done by putting boats in the way of the Terminal 5.

According to the Seattle Times, the activists in Seattle have introduced a new form of strategy to register their protest against Shell. They have started to bombard the email accounts and phone lines of the companies that support Shell’s operations in the city. Yesterday,, a website registering its opposition against the use of Port of Seattle provided a sign-up schedule to the protestors. Nevertheless, it also provided the companies’ email addresses and phone numbers that provide support to Shell. However, the website has warned the protestors to contact the email addresses and phone numbers only once, as otherwise it can be considered as harassment.

Notably, along with the USA, Russia is also exploiting the resources in the Arctic region. Other countries like China, India and Vietnam are preparing themselves to commence their operations in the region as well.


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