January 10, 2013 |
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.
January 1, 2013 |
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.
December 27, 2012 |
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.
October 31, 2012 |
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.
July 15, 2012 |
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.
July 13, 2012 |
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.