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NATIONAL
July 15, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE - Shell's Arctic oil ambitions ran into new problems Saturday evening when the Discoverer drilling rig, slated to begin exploratory operations in the Chukchi Sea next month, ran adrift in stiff winds in Alaska's Dutch Harbor and came perilously close to the beach. The vessel 's anchor failed to hold and the 514-foot ship began drifting, but its movement was halted when tug boats were called in to assist, Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Francis told the Los Angeles Times.
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NEWS
January 30, 2014 | By Scott Martelle
Shell's decision to give up on Arctic Ocean oil drilling for 2014 is good news for the environment. Now if only the oil companies - and the Obama administration - would give up altogether on the idea of drilling in such a remote and harsh place . Yes, there are arguments for ramping up domestic oil production to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, but the bigger issue is our dependence on oil, period. It's mind-boggling that we talk about trying to reduce global warming caused by burning fossil fuels while at the same time pursuing policies that will bring us more fossil fuels to burn, and at a cheaper price.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 1990
Aman working on a drilling rig near Palmdale died from electrical shock after equipment he was operating struck a power line, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies said Thursday. Scott Rounds, 24, of Oxnard, died at Palmdale Hospital Medical Center about 4 p.m. Wednesday. He had been taken there by a co-worker after a drilling rig he was operating struck and knocked down a power line in a field near Elizabeth Lake Road and Bouquet Canyon in Leona Valley, deputies said.
NATIONAL
November 14, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
A small town about 50 miles south of Dallas was evacuated out of caution Thursday after officials said a 10-inch pipeline exploded and sent flames and a plume of smoke into the air visible for miles around. No injuries have been reported, Milford Fire Department Chief Mark Jackson told the Los Angeles Times in a  phone interview. Jackson said officials were waiting for the fire to burn out instead of actively fighting it. A lieutenant with the Ellis County Sheriff's Office told the Dallas CBS affiliate they expected it would take 24 hours for the fire to burn out. Milford has a population of 728 people.
NATIONAL
June 17, 2010 | By Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger, Tribune Washington Bureau
A House subcommittee will question government and oil industry officials Thursday about worker safety aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig the day it exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, focusing partly on worker complaints that the vessel was undermanned and had a confusing command structure. These concerns were outlined this week in a Times story that described the rig's registration with the Marshall Islands, a small Pacific nation that classified the vessel in such a way that a drilling manager rather than a captain was in charge of it at the time of the accident.
NEWS
January 30, 2014 | By Scott Martelle
Shell's decision to give up on Arctic Ocean oil drilling for 2014 is good news for the environment. Now if only the oil companies - and the Obama administration - would give up altogether on the idea of drilling in such a remote and harsh place . Yes, there are arguments for ramping up domestic oil production to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, but the bigger issue is our dependence on oil, period. It's mind-boggling that we talk about trying to reduce global warming caused by burning fossil fuels while at the same time pursuing policies that will bring us more fossil fuels to burn, and at a cheaper price.
NATIONAL
September 12, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
An offshore drilling rig collapsed in the Gulf of Mexico, spilling 41 workers into the water. All were rescued, the Coast Guard said. The cause of the collapse was not yet known, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Tara Mitchell. The Coast Guard and three civilian boats fished the workers out of the water. Three people stayed on the rig and were rescued.
NATIONAL
July 25, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON -- Oil-field services giant Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Halliburton has been charged with one count of destruction of evidence in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. Under a plea agreement that is subject to court approval, Halliburton agreed “to pay the maximum-available statutory fine, to be subject to three years of probation and to continue its cooperation in the government's ongoing criminal investigation,” the Justice Department said.
NATIONAL
November 14, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
A small town about 50 miles south of Dallas was evacuated out of caution Thursday after officials said a 10-inch pipeline exploded and sent flames and a plume of smoke into the air visible for miles around. No injuries have been reported, Milford Fire Department Chief Mark Jackson told the Los Angeles Times in a  phone interview. Jackson said officials were waiting for the fire to burn out instead of actively fighting it. A lieutenant with the Ellis County Sheriff's Office told the Dallas CBS affiliate they expected it would take 24 hours for the fire to burn out. Milford has a population of 728 people.
NATIONAL
July 25, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON -- Oil-field services giant Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Halliburton has been charged with one count of destruction of evidence in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. Under a plea agreement that is subject to court approval, Halliburton agreed “to pay the maximum-available statutory fine, to be subject to three years of probation and to continue its cooperation in the government's ongoing criminal investigation,” the Justice Department said.
SCIENCE
July 16, 2013 | By Bettina Boxall
When oil sheen appeared on the sea surface last fall not far from the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, authorities wanted to know where it was coming from. Was BP's sealed Macondo well -- the source of the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history -- leaking? Was oil escaping from the 80-ton, steel containment dome abandoned on the gulf floor after it was used in a failed attempt to control the blown-out well? Or was something else the source? Testing revealed that the oil slicks matched the Macondo crude.
NATIONAL
January 10, 2013 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE - Adding to the troubles plaguing Shell Alaska and its drilling program in the Arctic, the Environmental Protection Agency announced late Thursday that it had issued air pollution citations to both of the company's Arctic drilling rigs for “multiple permit violations” during the 2012 drilling season. In a brief notice, the federal agency said the company could be subject to fines or other measures as a result of the violations. EPA officials said the problems were discovered during an inspection of the Noble Discoverer drilling rig and because Shell reported that it had exceeded nitrogen oxide emissions limits on both its drilling rigs during operations last summer.
NATIONAL
January 1, 2013 | By Kim Murphy
Days of efforts trying to guide a mobile offshore drilling rig through stormy Alaska seas hit a crisis Monday night when crew members were forced to disconnect the rig from its last remaining tow line and the vessel went aground on a small island south of Kodiak. “The first priority was the safety of the people,” said Darci Sinclair, spokeswoman for the unified command of U.S. Coast Guard, Shell Alaska and drill ship owners who had been trying mightily to avoid just such an eventuality ever since the Kulluk rig first ran into trouble Thursday night.
NATIONAL
December 27, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE -- A drilling rig that launched landmark exploratory oil operations in the Chukchi Sea Arctic this summer has been cited by the U.S. Coast Guard for serious “discrepancies” in its safety and pollution discharge equipment, the latest in a series of vessel problems that have plagued Royal Dutch Shell's foray into the Alaskan Arctic. The Noble Corp., owner of the 47-year-old Discoverer, disclosed Thursday it discovered additional deficiencies in its own inspections, including the possibility of unauthorized collected water discharges outside the allowable period for drilling operations.
NATIONAL
October 31, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE - The Kulluk drilling rig was in the process of dismantling in the Beaufort Sea off the coast of Alaska on Wednesday, concluding Shell Alaska's troubled debut season of offshore drilling in the U.S. Arctic. Company officials said the Noble Discoverer rig was already headed south out of the Chukchi Sea, and operations in the Beaufort were coming to a close on the last day allowed under federal permits for drilling, prohibited after the onset of winter ice. “Given the challenges we faced from the perspective of sea ice and logistics in deploying assets and employees to the Arctic for the first time in two decades, we're very pleased with the work we accomplished,” Shell spokesman Curtis Smith told the Los Angeles Times.
NATIONAL
February 17, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
One of the last significant hurdles to offshore oil drilling in the Arctic has been cleared with approval of a plan for dealing with a nightmare scenario - an oil spill at the top of the world. The Obama administration on Friday approved Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc.'s plan for responding to an accident should it occur in the Chukchi Sea. The company hopes to begin exploratory drilling there, 70 miles off the northwest coast of Alaska, in June. The issue of how to clean up a spill in the remote waters, 1,000 miles from the nearest U.S. Coast Guard base, has proved to be the biggest impediment to opening the most significant new frontier in U.S. energy development.
NATIONAL
July 15, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE - Shell's Arctic oil ambitions ran into new problems Saturday evening when the Discoverer drilling rig, slated to begin exploratory operations in the Chukchi Sea next month, ran adrift in stiff winds in Alaska's Dutch Harbor and came perilously close to the beach. The vessel 's anchor failed to hold and the 514-foot ship began drifting, but its movement was halted when tug boats were called in to assist, Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Francis told the Los Angeles Times.
NATIONAL
July 13, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE -- Only weeks before it is set to begin drilling exploratory oil wells in the Alaskan Arctic, Shell has asked the Environmental Protection Agency for a last-minute revision in its air emissions permits, conceding it has not been able to meet all of the rigorous standards required for the main generator on the drill bit for its Chukchi Sea drilling rig, the Discoverer. In a filing with the EPA, the company said it was still able to meet overall ambient air quality and annual emissions standards.
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