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Shell Polar Pioneer fails USCG inspection

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Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 18.39.24By Donal Scully: 27 May 2015

Seattle: The Polar Pioneer, one of two huge drilling platforms Shell plans to deploy in the Arctic, came up short under a US Coast Guard (USCG) inspection on Tuesday.

Although the USCG said the unspecified hitch was minor and would be easily remedied it was another in an array of small snags surrounding Shell’s planned return to Arctic oil exploration after a three -year hiatus.

Two weeks ago the city of Seattle, where Shell is mooring its Arctic fleet ahead of the trip north, said that by housing Shell’s fleet the port of Seattle is in violation of its lease that designates Terminal 5 as a “cargo terminal.”

And the port of Seattle sent mixed signals when it simultaneously backed Shell’s right to moor its fleet but also requested the oil giant delay the arrival of the Polar Pioneer. That request fell on deaf ears.

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