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Shell Oil to Conduct Chukchi Sea Sonar Surveys

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By Chris Klint Channel 2 News: 2:36 p.m. AKDT, July 22, 2013: ANCHORAGE, Alaska—

Shell Oil plans to conduct sonar work in the Chukchi Sea this year, inspecting seafloor sites where it might build pipelines to offshore oil wells if its exploration plans for the Arctic ultimately bear fruit.

The geophysical survey work, considered ancillary to Shell’s Arctic exploration plan, involves visiting federally controlled regions of Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf to assess the presence of “ice gouges” in the seafloor caused by passing icebergs or shallow hazards to navigation. It involves a single vessel towing a magnetometer and a sonar array, which measures sound returns from an airgun to map the seabed. About 620 miles of ice gouge surveys will be conducted, along with nearly 2,000 miles of shallow hazards surveys. read more

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