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Posts Tagged ‘Arctic’

Records detail equipment failure on Arctic drilling rig

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25“The company’s repeated failures in basic readiness tests show that when things go wrong in the Arctic ocean, it will be a disaster…”

By Jennifer A. Dlouhy: August 30, 2015

WASHINGTON — Newly released documents reveal the extent of problems with anti-pollution equipment on a Shell-contracted Arctic drillship earlier this year.

The records, provided by the U.S. Coast Guard in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, also describe a botched fire drill by the crew of another Shell-contracted drilling rig months before it began boring an exploratory oil well in the Chukchi Sea.

That rig, the Transocean Polar Pioneer, was moored in Seattle and being prepared for its Arctic mission in May, when the Coast Guard conducted an initial inspection and two emergency drills onboard. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell Tramples Our Civil Rights

Yesterday, in a small courtroom in Alaska, David met Goliath once again. Greenpeace USA’s small team of lawyers came face to face with representatives from Shell, the multinational oil company seeking one of the broadest legal injunctions ever sought against an entirely peaceful environmental group. The judge’s decision will resonate far beyond Anchorage and help determine the future of activism in this country.

A little backstory is needed here. In a desperate attempt to shore up its proven reserves, Shell is betting the ranch on new drilling in Arctic waters. Its executives purr reassuringly about ‘energy independence,’ as if one more hit of the black stuff will be enough to lower gas prices, ease our financial pain and bring back the dreamy nineties. Rather than seeing melting sea ice for what it really is — a flashing warning sign of continental proportions — this increasingly desperate company wants to drill for more of the fossil fuel that is causing the problem in the first place. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell oil protesters climb National Gallery

Graphic from Greenpeace website

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Environmental campaigners climbed to the roof of the National Gallery today to stage a protest against energy giant Shell.

They scaled the gallery in London’s Trafalgar Square, where an evening reception is being held for Shell, saying they wanted to demonstrate against plans to drill for oil in the Arctic this summer.

The campaigners, from Greenpeace, dropped a 40-metre square banner, which has a picture of an oil rig and the words It’s No Oil Painting, down the front of the gallery. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell Wins Approval for Oil-Spill Response Plan in Arctic

By Katarzyna Klimasinska – Feb 17, 2012 5:29 PM GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) won U.S. approval for its oil-spill response plan in the Chukchi Sea, bringing the company closer to winding up a five-year quest to drill off the north coast of Alaska.

Shell must obtain drilling permits from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to start work as early as July. The company also needs U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service permission for “incidental” disruption of polar bears, walrus, whales and seals. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell leader expects Arctic offshore drilling this year

By Emily Pickrell, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Published Thursday, January 12, 2012

Shell Oil Co. expects to clear remaining regulatory hurdles and begin drilling later this year in the Chukchi Sea near Alaska, company President Marvin Odum said at a scientific conference on Thursday.

Shell received conditional federal approval last month to drill six exploratory wells in the Arctic offshore region but still must secure permits for individual wells.

Among the requirements for Shell to obtain those permits will be selling regulators on its plan for responding to spills or other accidents at the sites. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Oil exploration under Arctic ice could cause ‘uncontrollable’ natural disaster

Any serious oil spill in the ice of the Arctic, the “new frontier” for oil exploration, is likely to be an uncontrollable environmental disaster despoiling vast areas of the world’s most untouched ecosystem, one of the world’s leading polar scientists has told The Independent.

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor: Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Any serious oil spill in the ice of the Arctic, the “new frontier” for oil exploration, is likely to be an uncontrollable environmental disaster despoiling vast areas of the world’s most untouched ecosystem, one of the world’s leading polar scientists has told The Independent.

Oil from an undersea leak will not only be very hard to deal with in Arctic conditions, it will interact with the surface sea ice and become absorbed in it, and will be transported by it for as much as 1,000 miles across the ocean, according to Peter Wadhams, Professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Arctic oil spill could prove tough to clean

latimes.com Shell Exploration’s plan for exploratory oil and gas drilling in the Beaufort Sea won conditional approval from the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. One of the big questions now is what happens if there’s an oil spill.Agency officials are expected as early as next week to act on Shell’s oil spill response plan, which conservationists say falls short of the mark for responding to an accident in icy waters, often shrouded in darkness, hundreds of miles from the nearest deep-water port.

Earlier this month, Canada looked at the same issue: How hard would it be to clean up an oil spill in the Beaufort Sea, which straddles the border between the two countries. The answer? Really hard.

Even in the “summer” season between July and October, when Arctic drilling normally occurs, true open water without ice occurs only 54% to 88% of the time, even close to shore, according to the report, prepared for the National Energy Board by S.L. Ross Environmental Research Ltd. of Ottawa. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

House Votes to Streamline Clean-Air Permits for Oil-Drilling Projects

JUNE 22, 2011

By TENNILLE TRACY

WASHINGTON—The House voted Wednesday to streamline the issuance of clean-air permits for offshore oil-drilling projects, representing another attempt by Republicans to pressure the Obama administration into speeding up domestic oil production.

The bill passed Wednesday night by a vote of 253-166, with votes falling largely along party lines. A majority of Democrats voted against the measure, saying it would strip regulators of their ability to determine whether drilling projects pollute the air and pose a risk to human health. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell close to working in arctic waters

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 17 (UPI) — Shell sees a “clear path” to getting approval to drill in arctic waters off the coast of Alaska as early as July, an executive said.

Warming trends have resulted in less sea ice in arctic waters and exposed areas believed to hold vast reserves of oil and natural gas.

Shell Alaska President Pete Slaiby told the Platts news service that the company was close to getting approved to work on the outer continental shelf in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Port Arthur activist wins $150,000 environmental prize

POSTING BY GOLDEN TRIANGLE WATCHMAN

John D, you want to engage with a true activist that has been a pain in the rear for Motiva, read this article. Motiva and the Purves gang are busy building the project. They had to buy this guy off to get the permit…. Might be worth connecting with him and seeing if he truly understands Shell’s equity position on crude when the project completes. They won’t be running the Saudi crude as much since it is going to China… where do you think they are going to get the crude…. Answer another question… Where is Shell’s investment of late north of the border in Canada…. oil sands…. on it’s way to PAR… read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Is Begich of Alaska trying to strong-arm the EPA on behalf of Shell?

John, he sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee and they have already received your email with that Navy/ONR memo.

http://begich.senate.gov/public/

I read the article about Begich of Alaska trying to strong-arm the EPA on behalf of RD Shell.  I have attached a link to his webpage.

This is just a suggestion, but you may want to drop him a line and let him know about the email received from the DoI’s Inspector General office regarding the ongoing DoI investigation of RD Shell as it pertains to the Navy’s espionage investigation of RD Shell. You could include a link to that Navy/ONR memo listing the classification authorities. Just a suggestion, but there is no harm in stirring the pot. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

What’s the rush for Shell to drill in the Arctic? The oil is not going away.

FROM A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF SHELL OIL USA: REPUBLISHED WITH UPDATED INFORMATION SUNDAY 9 JANUARY 2011

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Is Shell’s skimmer vessel the ‘Nanuq’ ready to deal with Arctic spill?

The Nanuq, a 301-foot, Arctic A-1 ice class, oil recovery platform supply vessel, built by Edison Chouest of Houma Louisiana, owned by Shell

By a former employee of Shell Oil USA

I read the article about Shell’s skimmer vessel the ‘Nanuq’.

Shell apparently thinks it is ready to deal with a spill. Somebody needs to prove that.

Got an observation and a question –

The observation is that some of the structures that Shell wants to drill have already been drilled and have been shown to be oil and/or gas bearing. Undoubtedly some sort of tests were run and liquids were recovered.

Got a question? What were/are the pour points for the oils in those reservoirs at atmospheric conditions? I have seen oils so full of paraffin they solidify at 140 degrees F. This kind of stuff makes great candles. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Royal Dutch Shell Arctic Issues

Article by a former employee of Shell Oil USA

UPDATED WITH COMMENTS AND MORE INFORMATION

December 4, 2010

I would like to point out that Shell Oil USA (and other operators) safely drilled a number of exploratory wells in the Arctic waters of offshore Alaska in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s without mishap. These wells were drilled in areas Shell now wants to drill. In some cases, these new wells will be delineation wells for discoveries already made by Shell and others.
 
However, RD Shell’s contentions that they are drilling in shallow water, not mile deep water, and that drilling is therefore much safer, ring hollow given Shell’s past and ongoing record in the shallow Gulf of Mexico, and even onshore. If water depth was the critical criteria Shell’s shallow water and onshore drilling operations worldwide should be ‘defect free’. They are far from that. Safety issues continue even onshore. And we only need to recall the Bay Marchand blowout in 1970 in very shallow Gulf of Mexico waters to understand that water depth is no guarantee of either safe drilling or production. That blowout was due in large part to an effort by Shell USA to develop that field as cheaply and quickly as possible.
 
However, given all the scrutiny that has fallen upon the oil industry for its slipshod ‘safety culture’ (if any real ‘safety culture’ actually exists) since the BP disaster, Shell and their partners could most probably be trusted to safely drill their desired exploration wells in both the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.
 
Actually, the US government is legally obligated to let Shell and its partners drill at some point in time. If just cause is found that would prohibit that exploratory drilling, then Shell, et al, should be refunded their lease payments, with interest. The government must act in good faith in this regard.
 
Clearly, any mishap/screw-up by RD Shell or others that caused any sort of ‘significant’ release of hydrocarbons into the fragile Arctic environment would doom any further drilling in those regions for decades to come. RD Shell along with the rest of the industry are well aware of that reality. In fact, drilling in the Alaskan Arctic must be a ‘mishap free’ affair, for there will now be no tolerance for ‘typical’ industry conduct after the BP Affair.
 
Exploratory drilling is a very short term endeavor. The bigger concern, and one that has yet to be adequately addressed, is how to exploit any significant reserves that may be discovered without serious risk and damage to the very fragile Arctic environment. That is by far the more serious and more problematic issue the government, RD Shell and the oil industry face. RD Shell and the oil industry have yet to demonstrate they can meet the technical challenges and operate safely.
 
One need only look at how BP and their partners (Exxon, et al) have operated on the North Slope and have maintained the Alaska pipeline over the years to see where the industry has placed and continues to place its priorities. And we only need to look to the Russian Arctic to see what the consequences of serious releases of hydrocarbons will be. That is not a matter of speculation. And Shell USA’s past operational record in Alaska, RD Shell’s environmental record in the Arctic in Russia are indicative of the company’s attitude toward environmentally safe operations in the Arctic. Shell USA had diesel fuel spill issues associated with the improper abandonment of discovery wells (induced by improper internal ‘reserve bookings’ issues) at a prospect called Seal Island (now renamed Northstar by BP I believe). And recently the Russian government took harsh action against Shell as a consequence of environmental issues at Sakhalin II. How RD Shell operates and has operated in the Alaskan and Russian Arctic are very relevant because this conduct is indicative of Shell’s corporate attitude regarding environmental issues. And this is senior level management’s attitude. After all, they lead that company.
 
While Shell and others may indeed be allowed to drill exploratory wells, there is absolutely no guarantee that they will be allowed to develop any reserves that may be discovered. Any such effort will ultimately end up in US courts and face legal challenge after legal challenge. I question whether they would ever be allowed to exploit those discoveries at anytime in the near future. It could take decades, literally, for the resulting political and legal challenges to be overcome.
 
Given the continuing development of massive gas reserves in the lower 48 States, and the rather limited potential for oil in the Alaskan Arctic offshore, estimated to be around 20 billon bbls, I don’t see any real imperative to develop those known gas and oil reserves given the potential ecological damage that could occur from slipshod industry operating practices. These oil reserves are spit in the bucket compared to the exploitable onshore oil sand reserves in Alberta and Venezuela. And there are serious environmental damage issues associated with the development of those reserves as well.
 
To further exacerbate the problem of drilling in the Alaskan Arctic is the fact that the US government has no agency capable of regulating the oil industry effectively. The Dept. of the Interior has been and is completely compromised by the coziness between the oil industry, politicians, and senior bureaucratic leadership. A great example of this completely improper relationship is the Gale Norton affair, and the other associated ‘sex and drug’ scandals that rocked MMS in recent years. DoI operates more like the corrupt bureaucracy of a third world country than they do of a modern democracy based upon the rule of law. And Shell has had a big hand in the deliberate corruption of that bureaucracy.
 
The modern US Republican party was born in large part in Harris County, Texas, home to Houston, Texas, the one-time capital of the world wide oil industry and still the capital of the US and North American/South American oil industries. The coziness between the oil industry and the modern Republican party is legendary. However, large sums of oil industry money flow to both political parties and to lobby organizations who effectively gut the regulatory power of governmental agencies and prevent the establishment of an effective regulatory agency.
 
Until the impotence of the US government to effectively regulate the oil industry is remedied, I see no possibility of development of hydrocarbon reserves in the Alaskan offshore, regardless of how much oil and gas may be discovered. The arrogance and corrupting influence peddling of the large major oil companies, which ultimately led to/contributed to BP’s latest offshore disaster have doomed that possibility.
read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Alaska polar bears given ‘critical habitat’

25 November 2010

The US has designated a “critical habitat” for polar bears living on Alaska’s disappearing sea ice.

The area – twice the size of the United Kingdom – has been set aside to help stave off the danger of extinction, the US Fish and Wildlife Service said.

The territory includes locations where oil and gas companies want to drill.

Environmentalists hope the designation will make it more difficult for companies to get permits to operate in the region.

“This critical habitat designation enables us to work with federal partners to ensure their actions within its boundaries do not harm polar bear populations,” said Tom Strickland, assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

U.S. Deems Polar-Bear Habitat Critical, Posing Issue for Shell

NOVEMBER 24, 2010

By SIOBHAN HUGHES

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Interior Department on Wednesday designated 187,000 square miles of offshore sea ice and other areas as critical habitat for polar bears, a move that could make it harder for Royal Dutch Shell PLC to begin drilling in Alaskan waters next summer.

The Interior Department issued the final rules as Shell has been lobbying the Obama administration to by the end of the year approve its plans to drill in Alaska waters, especially the Chukchi Sea. The Chukchi and the Beaufort seas are home to the nation’s two big polar-bear populations, the Interior Department said, and thus provide critical habitat for species that the U.S. government has listed as threatened. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.