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Posts under ‘Beaufort Sea’

Obama’s and Trump’s useless gestures on energy

By Chris TomlinsonBusiness Columnist: Dec 22, 2016

Count on politicians to be political.

President Barack Obama banned oil drilling along the Arctic coast and in the Atlantic from Virginia to Maine on Tuesday. Citing questionable authority under an obscure 1953 law, he means to keep any oil found in either of these coastal areas in the ground.

Environmentalists cheered and oil lobbyists jeered. Both will certainly waste a lot of time and electrons writing long tracts of praising and condemning Obama. And then they’ll waste donor funds fighting it out in court.

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Obama’s Arctic Drilling Ban Is Reversible, But The GOP And Big Oil Are Likely In No Rush To Fight It

David Blackmon: Contributor. Dec 21, 2016

The hits just keep on coming from our outgoing President. On Wednesday, Mr. Obama took one more of many parting shots at the domestic oil and gas industry at the behest of his supporters in the anti-development lobby, setting aside much of the northeastern Atlantic coast, all U.S. waters off the North Slope of Alaska in the Beaufort Sea and almost all of the federal waters in the adjacent Chukchi Sea “indefinitely off-limits for future oil and gas leasing.”

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Canada to ban licensing of oil and gas drilling in Arctic

A boat crosses in front of the Transocean Polar Pioneer, a semi-submersible drilling unit that Royal Dutch Shell leases from Transocean Ltd., as it arrives in Port Angeles, Wash., aboard a transport ship after traveling across the Pacific before its eventual Arctic destination in an April 17, 2015 file photo. The federal government says it will ban offshore oil and gas licensing in Arctic waters, a measure to be reviewed every five years. 

The Canadian Press: DECEMBER 20, 2016 01:23 PM

CALGARY – The federal government announced Tuesday plans to ban offshore oil and gas licensing in the Arctic, citing the need to protect the environment from future energy development, but the move was largely dismissed by industry observers as a weak gesture that won’t harm their interests.

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Obama Bans Drilling in Parts of the Atlantic and the Arctic

By CORAL DAVENPORT

President Obama announced on Tuesday what he called a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along wide areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic Seaboard as he tried to nail down an environmental legacy that cannot quickly be reversed by Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Obama invoked an obscure provision of a 1953 law, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which he said gives him the authority to act unilaterally. While some presidents have used that law to temporarily protect smaller portions of federal waters, Mr. Obama’s declaration of a permanent drilling ban on portions of the ocean floor from Virginia to Maine and along much of Alaska’s coast is breaking new ground. The declaration’s fate will almost certainly be decided by the federal courts.

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Obama sets stage for legal fight over Arctic oil drilling

by: Shawn Donnan in Washington and Andrew Ward in London: 21 December 2016

US President Barack Obama has set the stage for a legal battle over drilling for oil and gas in Arctic seas after declaring a huge swath of those waters “indefinitely” off limits to exploration as part of a joint move with Canada.

Royal Dutch Shell, long at the forefront of exploration in Alaska, abandoned its drilling campaign there in 2015 after failing to strike oil. The Anglo-Dutch group had spent $7bn in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas since 2007, or about 20 per cent of its exploration budget.

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Large cruise ship voyage through Arctic ice rekindles rows

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Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 21.48.04Terry MacalisterSaturday 13 August 2016 07.00 BST

Arguments around the Arctic have more recently centred on oil company drilling such as Shell’s controversial and now abandoned attempts to explore off the coast of Alaska and new plans to open up the Norwegian far north.

But the increasing scope for industrialising the region as the ice melts has also triggered geopolitical tensions and talk of a new cold war because the legal status of who owns what up there is uncertain.

FULL ARTICLE

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Shell Returns To Unalaska

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Shell Returns To Unalaska

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Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 15.52.57By ZOE SOBEL: Saturday 6 August 2016

Shell is back in Unalaska. Dutch Harbor was a staging area for Shell’s unsuccessful search for oil in the Arctic Ocean last year. This week, three ships — the Aiviq, the Dino Chouest, and the Ross Chouest — associated with Shell’s Arctic efforts arrived in Unalaska on a mission to remove the last signs of that effort.

A Shell representative says the vessels are “tasked with retrieving more than 50 anchors from the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas” and “completing required environmental science monitoring and reporting.”

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Shell drops legal attempt to extend offshore lease terms in the Arctic

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Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 10.21.36Shell drops legal attempt to extend offshore lease terms in the Arctic

Author: Yereth Rosen: 24 June 2016

Months after abandoning its plans for oil exploration in Arctic waters off Alaska, Royal Dutch Shell has dropped its legal effort to hold onto those offshore leases.

Shell notified the Interior Department it will no longer pursue its appeals of a decision that denied extension of the company’s oil leases in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska. The department’s Board of Land Appeals on Thursday granted Shell’s request and dismissed the case.

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Shell forfeits Arctic leases once worth $2b

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Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 08.42.36By Liz Ruskin, APRN: May 10, 2016

Shell is giving back all but one of its leases in the Chukchi Sea.

The announcement comes seven months after Shell said it was halting exploration in Alaska’s offshore Arctic for the foreseeable future.

Gov. Bill Walker calls the news “disappointing.”

Michael LeVine, Pacific senior counsel for the conservation group Oceana, says the lease-surrenders underscore Shell’s exit.

“They’re significant because they really call to an end this era of exploration, at least in the Chukchi Sea,” he said.

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Shell’s fleet of ancient rust buckets fit only for the scrapyard

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By John Donovan

In June 2015, I published an article by a regular contributor about the notorious Noble Discoverer, one of two drill ships used by Shell in their notorious offshore Alaska drilling campaign.

The insider described Shell’s fleet of five vessels sent into Arctic waters as ancient rust buckets fit only for the scrapyard.  

Apparently an entirely appropriate assessment, as I understand from a different source that the Noble Discover may well be on her way now to the infamous Alang shipbreaker yards in India.

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Big Oil Abandons $2.5 Billion in U.S. Arctic Drilling Rights

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Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 08.42.36Jennifer A Dlouhy: May 10, 2016

Drillers forfeit millions of acres amid slump in oil prices

Royal Dutch Shell still holding on to one lease in Chukchi Sea

After plunking down more than $2.5 billion for drilling rights in U.S. Arctic waters, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips and other companies have quietly relinquished claims they once hoped would net the next big oil discovery.

The pullout comes as crude oil prices have plummeted to less than half their June 2014 levels, forcing oil companies to slash spending. For Shell and ConocoPhillips, the decision to abandon Arctic acreage was formalized just before a May 1 due date to pay the U.S. government millions of dollars in rent to keep holdings in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska.

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Shell gives up on all but one Chukchi Sea lease

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Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 08.42.36Shell gives up on all but one Chukchi Sea lease

Yereth Rosen: Alaska Dispatch News: May 9, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell has decided to give up all but one of its federal offshore leases in the Chukchi Sea, bringing what appears to be an anticlimactic end to its multibillion-dollar effort to turn those icy Arctic waters off northwestern Alaska into a new oil-producing frontier.

“After extensive consideration and evaluation, we have made the decision to relinquish all but one of our federal offshore leases in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. This action is consistent with our earlier decision not to explore offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future,” company spokesman Curtis Smith said in an email on Monday.

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Should Shell have looked west for its Arctic Ocean fortune?

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That’s the hypothesis of David Houseknecht, one of the region’s foremost geologists and project chief for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Energy Resources Program for Alaska.

Other experts say the idea helps explain why public well results and rock chips have shown a large amount of gas in the reservoir but limited evidence of oil. Unlike Alaska politicians who jumped at the chance to blame federal regulations for Shell’s decision to abandon the Arctic, the scientists say the answer is simply a matter of geology — the oil just wasn’t there in big volumes.  

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Shell shares won’t run better just because BG’s been added to the tank

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Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 08.30.26Shell shares won’t run better just because BG’s been added to the tank

By Ian McVeigh: 31 Jan 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 08.31.55Shell’s bid for BG received an 83pc vote in favour from its shareholders.

For some time it has been apparent that Shell was irrevocably set on this course in spite of the collapse of the oil price. The image of a supertanker unable to stop inevitably springs to mind. I am sure BG shareholders can’t believe their luck. Their shares would be around half the current level without Shell’s bid.

For the fund management industry the vote in favour is hardly likely to go down as one of its finest moments, though a 17pc “no” vote is relatively large in such circumstances.

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Shell lease requests offshore Alaska face scrutiny

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Shell is challenging a decision by the federal government to deny its request to suspend leases in the Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska that would expire in 2017 and 2020. Federal leases expire at the end of their terms unless operators are engaged in drilling or related activity.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan. 14 (UPI) — A group of environmental activists filed a challenge to leases held by Royal Dutch Shell in Alaskan waters, citing the need to act on behalf of the climate.

Earthjustice, working on behalf of eight conservation groups, including the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, filed to intervene in decisions before the Department of Interior regarding Shell’s leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.

“The Arctic Ocean is ground zero for climate change, and drilling in such a sensitive region threatens the whales, seals and countless other wildlife that call it home,” Earthjustice attorney Erik Grafe said in a statement.

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Shell working to protect assets offshore Alaska

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Dutch supermajor notes the challenge does not equate to a resumption of drilling activity.

By Daniel J. Graeber: Dec. 17, 2015

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (UPI) — While Royal Dutch Shell said it aims to protect its drilling rights in the Arctic waters offshore Alaska, it said drilling was off the table for the foreseeable future.

Royal Dutch Shell in October said it was considering its options when the Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement denied its request to suspend leases in Arctic Alaskan waters that expire between 2017 and 2020. Leases expire at the end of their terms unless operators are engaged in drilling or related activity.

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Shell Bid Aims to Preserve U.S. Drilling Rights in Arctic Ocean

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 16.53.51Jennifer A Dlouhy: December 15, 2015: Bloomberg.com

  • Oil company files appeal challenging rejection by Interior

  • Clock now ticking on oil and gas leases expiring in 2020

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Royal Dutch Shell Plc is fighting to preserve U.S. drilling rights in Arctic waters three months after halting exploration indefinitely there because it failed to find meaningful oil or natural gas deposits.

Europe’s largest oil company filed a notice of appeal Tuesday challenging the U.S. Interior Department’s Oct. 29 rejection of the company’s requests to stop the clock on Arctic oil and gas leases that otherwise expire between 2017 and 2020. The dispute is expected to undergo an administrative review, possibly delaying a final judgment until after a new U.S. president takes office.

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Economics, not just regulation, sidelined Shell’s offshore Alaska drilling plans

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Dermot ColeDecember 8, 2015

Fresh assertions that the Obama administration smothered Shell’s Arctic dreams followed the news that Statoil gave up on its leases, the second company to abandon plans to look for oil in the Chukchi Sea.

Citing market conditions and noting the leases “are no longer considered competitive within Statoil’s global portfolio,” the Norwegian company announced its withdrawal plans Nov. 17. The company had long taken a cautious approach in the region, using Shell as a bellwether. Earlier this year it had scaled back its plans to drill in the Barents Sea because of low oil prices.

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The Inside Story of Shell’s Arctic Assault

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45A months-long investigation shows how the energy giant pressured the Interior Department during the company’s gung-ho Arctic push—and got most of what it wanted (except oil).

By Barry YeomanDecember 08, 2015

Last May, four months before the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell suspended exploration in offshore Alaska, Christopher Putnam needed to get something off his chest.

Putnam is 44, originally from Texas, a trained wildlife biologist who also served as an Army infantry sergeant during the Iraq War. For almost six years he has worked in Alaska for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, protecting marine mammals. It has been his job to ensure that Shell’s plans to drill more than 60 miles offshore in the Chukchi Sea—the wild Arctic water between Alaska and Siberia—wouldn’t harm Pacific walruses, particularly the juveniles, calves, and nursing mothers that dominate the Chukchi during the drilling season.

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Even as it walks away from Arctic drilling, Shell keeps door open for future work

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Posted on October 29, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Shell is walking away from oil exploration in Arctic waters north of Alaska, but it isn’t ready to close the door completely.

Disappointing results from a critical test well at the company’s Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, combined with the high costs of developing the region and an “unpredictable regulatory environment” have prompted Royal Dutch Shell “to cease further exploration activity offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future,” CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters Thursday.

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US Follows Royal Dutch Shell plc Backs Away From Arctic Drilling

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By: Micheal KaufmanOct 19, 2015

The US Interior Department announced on Friday that it will cancel the auction of 2016 and 2017 natural gas and offshore oil leases in the Arctic Ocean. The auction was scheduled under the Department’s current five-year Chukchi Sea leasing program for 2012–2017. The division cited low crude oil prices and lack of interest from oil companies as the main reason behind its decision.

This news comes a few weeks after Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) withdrew its Arctic drilling plan. The oil giant had spent $7 billion for the Arctic campaign. It said last month that it has dropped its exploration and production (E&P) activities in the Burger prospect of the Chukchi Sea, as it found few traces of oil and natural gas in the region. The company was not satisfied with the drilling results; it had initially expected huge amount of oil traces in the Ocean. Shell has dropped all future plans of Arctic drilling for the foreseeable future.

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Interior: No more new Arctic oil leases for remainder of Obama’s presidency

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Interior: No more new Arctic oil leases for remainder of Obama’s presidency

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Gregory Korte, USA TODAY: Oct 16, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is canceling its plans to sell oil drilling rights in the Arctic Sea through 2017, a remarkable turnaround since expanding drilling by approving new drilling permits for Shell Oil earlier this year.

But Royal Dutch Shell’s decision last month to suspend its oil exploration in offshore Alaskan waters — citing disappointing results from a well in the Chukchi Sea — prompted the Interior Department to cancel further oil leases.

“In light of Shell’s announcement, the amount of acreage already under lease and current market conditions, it does not make sense to prepare for lease sales in the Arctic in the next year and a half,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

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US curbs Arctic offshore oil and gas drilling

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The US government has announced new curbs on oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters off Alaska’s northern coast.

It comes after oil giant Royal Dutch Shell last month stopped its Arctic activity citing “disappointing” tests.

The US interior department said it was cancelling two potential Arctic offshore lease sales and would not extend current leases.

The announcement has been welcomed by environmentalists.

Miyoko Sakashita, of the Center for Biological Diversity, said the decision was “great for the Arctic and its polar bears”.

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U.S. Blocks Alaskan Arctic Drilling for 2 Years

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31By CLIFFORD KRAUSSOCT. 16, 2015

HOUSTON — The Obama administration shut the door Friday on drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean over the next two years, canceling auctions for drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

The decision by the Interior Department was not surprising because it came less than a month after Shell Oil canceled the most advanced exploration project in the region because of disappointing results from a test well and high costs at a time when oil prices are extremely low.

Still, the announcement is symbolically important as the administration steps back from its cautious support of drilling in the Arctic.

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The risks of wildcatting in the Arctic

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31A former Shell Oil executive and catastrophic risk expert on the nightmare scenario when oil and ice mix.

by Lauren Ellis @lauren_jellis: October 15, 2015

Two drill vessels officially left Arctic waters after Royal Dutch Shell announced that the company would cease exploration in the Chuckchi and Beaufort seas. After a $7 billion investment and a standoff with kayaktivists, Shell cited a “disappointing exploration outcome,” meaning there’s oil in the Arctic, but not enough where they drilled to justify the cost. It’s a classic industry gamble called wildcatting: oil companies invest in an unexplored area hoping to strike black gold in the hidden reservoirs thousands of feet below the surface.

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Shell’s drilling vessels leave Arctic waters after company ends oil exploration off Alaska

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31DAN JOLING: Associated Press: Oct. 13, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two drill vessels employed by Royal Dutch Shell PLC off Alaska’s northwest coast have safely departed Arctic waters for the Pacific Northwest.

The 572-foot Noble Discoverer, owned by Noble Drilling U.S. LLC, reached Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands on Sunday afternoon. After a Coast Guard inspection, the vessel departed Monday for the Port of Everett in Washington state, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.

The Polar Pioneer, owned by Transocean Ltd., reached Dutch Harbor on Monday afternoon. Two tug boats accompanying the semi-submersible drilling vessel, the Ocean Wind and Ocean Wave vessel, planned to refuel and change crews. The Polar Pioneer will be towed to Port Angeles, Washington.

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Myths about Shell’s Arctic Alaska pullout persist

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Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 09.03.21Yereth RosenAlaska Dispatch News: October 3, 2015

When Royal Dutch Shell announced that it had lost its big-money bet in the Chukchi Sea and would end its entire program in the offshore U.S. Arctic, the hyperbole and finger-pointing began in earnest.

Rep. Don Young accused President Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell of deliberately sabotaging Alaska’s economy. “I’m sure somewhere Sally Jewell and President Obama are smiling and celebrating Shell’s decision to cease operations off the coast of Alaska,” Young said in a statement issued just after Shell’s announcement.

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Shell pulls the plug on Arctic exploration

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Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 09.34.13Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:21am EDT

By Karolin Schaps

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude, a move that will appease environmental campaigners and shareholders who said its project was too expensive and risky.

The withdrawal came six weeks after the final U.S. clearance and three months after Shell was still defending the project, a rapid change of heart for such a large company that showed it is preparing for a prolonged period of low oil prices while trying to close its $70 billion takeover of rival BG.

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Tapped out? Shell ending Arctic offshore oil exploration after test well disappoints

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25FoxNews.com: Sept 28, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell said early Monday that it was ceasing offshore oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters after a test well yielded unsatisfactory amounts of oil and gas.

The announcement was a huge blow to Shell, which was counting on offshore drilling in Alaska to help it drive future revenue and had poured billions in investment and years of work into the exploratory well. Environmentalists, however, had tried repeatedly to block the project, and welcome the news.

A statement from the company’s headquarters in The Hague said Shell was ending exploration off Alaska “for the forseeable future” after what it called “a clearly disappointing exploration outcome.”

Shell said it had found indications of oil and gas in the well in the Chukchi Sea, about 80 miles off Alaska’s northwest coast. However, the petroleum was not in quantities sufficient to warrant additional exploration in that portion of the basin, the company added.

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Shell’s Arctic oil well comes up dry

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25September 28, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — After spending $7 billion and seven years searching for oil under Arctic waters, Royal Dutch Shell on Monday said its quest had come up dry.

Shell announced that its exploratory oil well in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska encountered “indications of oil and gas” that are “not sufficient to warrant further exploration” — a significant blow for the Anglo-Dutch firm that had hoped to find a multibillion barrel crude reservoir in those remote waters.

“Shell continues to see important exploration potential in the basin, and the area is likely to ultimately be of strategic importance to Alaska and the U.S.,” said Marvin Odum, director of Shell Upstream Americas. “However, this is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome for this part of the basin.”

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Shell’s big gamble: Oil wrangling at the far reaches of the Arctic frontier

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By Steven Mufson September 11

Shell Oil Co.’s president Marvin Odum made the trip on Sept. 2 from Houston to this northern-most town in the United States, a spot whose traditional name, Ukpeagvik, means “place where snowy owls are hunted.”

Odum is here hunting, too, for oil offshore and political support from Alaska Natives living in Barrow, a ramshackle town of muddy streets, littered with all-terrain vehicles and guarded by snow fences on one side and on the other a four-foot-high earthen berm to protect against high winds and seas.

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What’s at stake for Alaska in Shell’s Arctic exploration? Plenty

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The Transocean Polar Pioneer sits in the Chukchi Sea on Aug. 5, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 23.33.36Paul Fuhs: September 2, 2015

A lot has been said by many people about Shell’s Arctic drilling program but I have yet to see a real analysis of what it would mean for Alaska and our people.

Some have said: “Well, it is in federal waters so we won’t get anything out of it.” I just don’t believe that is true. Here are some of the direct benefits we will receive if Shell is successful in their endeavors.

The current throughput of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline is about 400,000 barrels a day and declining by about 5 percent a year. It has been estimated that below 200,000 barrels a day the pipeline will not be able to operate. A study by the Idaho National Energy Lab estimates that if this were to occur, we would strand at least 1 billion barrels of oil on the North Slope.

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Shell Resumes Operations After Storm Force Arctic Stop

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Aug 31, 2015, 10:31 PM ET

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has resumed operations after high winds and rough seas north of Alaska’s northern coast put a temporary stop to exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

But Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says in a Monday email to The Associated Press that full operations, including drilling, will start again once a systems check is complete and the company is satisfied it’s safe to start drilling again.

He says there’s no timeline for that to be completed.

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Concerns mount over whale deaths in Gulf of Alaska

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Ryan Schuessler: August 24 

KODIAK, Alaska – Researchers are scrambling to determine what’s behind the death of 30 whales in the Gulf of Alaska as unusually warm ocean temperatures continue to wreak havoc on the region.

Since May 2015, 14 fin whales, 11 humpback whales, one gray whale and four unidentified specimens have been found dead along shorelines in the Gulf of Alaska, nearly half of them in the Kodiak Archipelago. Other dead whales have been reported off the coast of British Columbia, including four humpbacks and one sperm whale.

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Can Shell afford Arctic oil?

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Karl Mathiesen: Wednesday 12 August 2015

This is the first time the Anglo-Dutch giant’s star-crossed Arctic programme will drill deep enough to hit oil. The company has reportedly spent $7bn (£4.5bn) on getting to this point, including replacing its prize Kulluk rig after it ran aground off Alaska in 2012. For them to gain any of this back, a number of things need to happen.

FULL ARTICLE WELL WORTH READING

Arctic drilling: Obama gives Shell the go-ahead despite 75% chance of major oil spills

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ALICE HARROLD: THE INDEPENDENT: Friday 24 July 2015

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The Obama administration has granted permission to Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea, off the northwest coast of Alaska.

The company was given the final approval for its application to drill in the Arctic on Wednesday in what was a major loss for green activists who have fought the drilling plans.

Shell has been granted permission start drilling exploratory wells about 140m off the coast of Alaska – one of the best prospective offshore areas in the world.

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Shell’s Arctic plan counters U.S. walrus protections -green groups

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“There does not appear to be any way that the federal government can allow Shell to proceed as the company has planned…”

23 June 2015

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Green groups urged the U.S. Department of Interior on Tuesday to revoke the agency’s conditional approval of Royal Dutch Shell’s 2015 Arctic oil exploration plan, saying it runs counter to established protections for walruses.

A 2013 rule implemented by the Fish and Wildlife Service, a bureau of the Interior Department, prevents energy companies from exploring for oil simultaneously at wells in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska that are within 15 miles (24 km) of each other.

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Greenpeace protesters confront Shell Arctic drilling rig off B.C. coast

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Greenpeace protesters confront Shell Arctic drilling rig off B.C. coast

Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig left Seattle Monday en route to offshore oil drilling in Alaska

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Protests against Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic drilling program continued Wednesday, with Greenpeace activists confronting the drilling rig off the coast of B.C. on its trip north from Seattle, Wash.

First Nations activist Audrey Siegl, who lives in Vancouver, wore traditional Musqueam regalia while drumming in front of the 90-metre tall rig, according to photos and video provided by Greenpeace.

The Greenpeace video also showed swimmers in wetsuits, holding a protest sign that said “People vs. Oil,” appearing close to the massive rig as it kept plowing through water about 40 nautical miles west of Vancouver Island.

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Shell Arctic Drill Rig Confronted at Sea by Indigenous Activists and Greenpeace Canada

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Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 22.51.53Press release from Greenpeace

June 17, 2015 – 4:51pm – By The Arctic Journal

Indigenous artist and activist Audrey Siegl today approached the 300-foot-tall Polar Pioneer drill rig in an inflatable boat launched from the MY Esperanza, while two Greenpeace Canada swimmers spread out in the water behind her to put their bodies in the way of the rig heading to the Arctic to drill for oil.

Siegl, dressed in the traditional regalia of the Musqueam people, stood at the front of the inflatable boat with her drum and feather out in front of her, signaling the Polar Pioneer to stop. Speaking from the action, she said:

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Shell Gets U.S. Permit to Disturb Marine Life Off Alaska’s Coast

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Bloomberg.com article by Mark Drajem: June 16, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc received U.S. approval to disturb marine mammals as part of its plan to resume oil exploration off Alaska’s Arctic coast.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an “incidental harassment authorization,” which allows noise from air guns, icebreaking, drilling and anchor handling. The June 12 permit, which covers July through October, doesn’t allow Shell to injure or kill any marine life.

Shell earlier received general approval for oil exploration for the coming months from the Department of Interior. The Hague-based company still must get a specific drilling plan from Interior’s offshore regulator, and work around ice flows and other vagaries of being 70 miles offshore Alaska in the Chukchi Sea.

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‘Kayaktivists’ take to water to try and blockade Shell oil platform

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Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 20.48.28“Kayaktivists” take to water to try and blockade Shell oil platform

POSTED 5:14 AM, JUNE 15, 2015, BY JOHN WHITE

SEATTLE – Anti-Shell Oil “kayaktivists” took to the waters of Elliott Bay Monday morning, to try and blockade Shell Oil’s “Polar Pioneer” oil rig platform. 

Thirteen protesters got into kayaks and headed toward the oil rig that’s been at Terminal 5 on Harbor Island, according to a press release from Greenpeace.

“The activists have secured themselves in place with enough supplies to last for hours while additional protests take place on shore,” Greenpeace said.

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Royal Dutch Shell Arctic Challenger Sets Sail for Alaska

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Bidness Etc takes a look at the first vessel in Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet setting off for Alaska

By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN: Jun 12, 2015 

According to oil giant Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) the first vessel in its Arctic drilling fleet, The Arctic Challenger, has set sail from Washington state to Alaska. The fleet intends to conduct exploration for oil and gas in the Arctic region in the summer season. Shell spokeswoman Megan Baldino informed that The Arctic Challenger had departed Bellingham for the Dutch Harbor in Unalaska off mainland Alaska, Reuters reports. There are several support vessels that will head for the Arctic region, along with drilling rigs to explore for oil in July. The drilling will take place in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

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Arctic drilling opponents hanging from Shell ship in Washington state

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Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 09.20.00Arctic drilling opponents hanging from Shell ship in Washington state

Seattle, June 12, 2015

Two activists strapped themselves on Friday to the anchor chain of a Shell Royal Dutch Shell vessel docked in Washington state that will be part of a fleet sent north to Alaska to resume drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic.

The women used camping gear and hammocks to attach themselves to the massive chain on the barge in Bellingham, Washington, north of Seattle, the activist group ShellNo said.

They attached themselves to the vessel, the American Trader, around 3:30 a.m., the group said. Both are students at Western Washington University, KIRO-TV reported.

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Arctic energy debate can be more than Shell rigs and Greenpeace protests

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Arctic energy debate can be more than Shell rigs and Greenpeace protests

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Victoria Herrmann: June 12, 2015

Today, the phrase “Arctic energy” has become synonymous with snowy oil rigs, icy ocean exploration, and Greenpeace activists. The recent conditional approval of Shell’s plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea has reinforced this narrow delineation of energy debates about the top of the world.

Reflective of how the Lower 48 views the Arctic more generally, northern energy is written as an extractive narrative. From the opening of shipping routes to warnings of climate change consequences, the Arctic is frequently framed and valued by how it can help those living below 66 degrees north.

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First vessel in Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet heads for Alaska

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Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 21.27.36First vessel in Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet heads for Alaska

SEATTLE, JUNE 11 | BY VICTORIA CAVALIERE

The first vessel in Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet has embarked from Washington state to Alaska ahead of its planned resumption of oil and gas exploration in the remote region this summer, the company said on Thursday.

The Arctic Challenger, an oil spill containment barge, had left Bellingham, north of Seattle, and was headed toward Dutch Harbor, in Unalaska, off mainland Alaska, Shell spokeswoman Megan Baldino said. She did not know when it would arrive.

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Port commissioner getting donations from executives involved in Shell deal

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By Joseph O’SullivanSeattle Times Olympia bureau: June 11, 2015

As Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant raises money for his gubernatorial campaign, he’s getting help from executives in companies involved in the deal to bring Shell Oil drilling equipment to a Seattle port terminal.

Bryant, a Republican who declared his run last month to challenge Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, has received $2,500 in campaign donations from Paul Stevens, CEO of Foss Maritime, according to campaign filings.

Records also show that Mark Tabbutt, listed as the chairman of Saltchuk Resources, the maritime conglomerate that owns Foss, has given $1,500.

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U.S. appeals court rejects challenge to Shell spill plans in Alaska

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U.S. appeals court rejects challenge to Shell spill plans in Alaska

Business News | Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:47pm BST

A divided federal appeals court rejected an effort by environmental groups to void a U.S. agency’s approval of two oil spill response plans by Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) related to the company’s oil leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas on Alaska’s Arctic coast.

By a 2-1 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected a claim that the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which is part of the Department of the Interior, acted unlawfully in approving the plans, which relate to leases from 2005, 2007 and 2008.

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Seattle protesters seek to block access to Shell Arctic drilling rig

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Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 18.39.24Seattle protesters seek to block access to Shell Arctic drilling rig

Business News | Tue Jun 9, 2015 6:29pm BST

A group of protesters gathered at the Port of Seattle on Tuesday seeking to block workers attempting to reach a Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) drilling rig that could depart this week to resume fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic.

Over the past month, activists have staged demonstrations against the oil company’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic, including on May 16 when hundreds of protesters in kayaks and small boats fanned out on a Seattle bay.

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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.

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Shell Plans to Drill In Arctic Ocean, Despite Setbacks, Protests and Lawsuits

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Reaching for Remote Hydrocarbon Riches, Shell Oil Plans to Drill In Arctic Ocean, Despite Setbacks, Protests and Lawsuits

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 09.26.28By John J. Berger, Ph. D.

Where are we heading now in our quest for more “cheap energy”? North, to the Arctic!

Despite the Obama Administration’s jawboning about the dangers of climate change and the Administration’s Climate Action Plan, it has recently given conditional approval to Shell Oil to drill for oil in the perilous waters of the Chukchi Sea.

Experts who know the risks of drilling in those cold and remote waters say there is a high probability of an oil spill and that Shell has no credible means of cleaning it up. The company’s record scarcely inspires confidence.

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