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.
October 16, 2012 |
Mitt Romney said "the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands and in federal waters. " According to the Bureau of Land Management, in fiscal year 2011, 2,188 leases were issued for energy development on federal lands. Four years earlier, in fiscal year 2007, 3499 leases were issued. So, not quite a 50% drop, but a drop nonetheless. However, the biggest drop-off came in fiscal year 2008, to 2,416 leases. The fiscal year for the federal government starts Oct. 1, 2007, so that decline began under the Bush administration.
September 27, 2012 |
Scientists are accusing the BP oil company of using the U.S. courts to attack their calculations of how much oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster. In a paper published Thursday in the journal Science, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in Massachusetts, charge that BP and other corporations damage scientific research when they subpoena documents and correspondence that lead to study conclusions. Richard Camilli, an ocean physicist, engineer and lead author of the paper, claimed that BP was intent on using such correspondence to raise doubts about the spill calculations.
September 23, 2012 |
WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - It was the down slope of August, and in the icy winds and freezing rain that masquerade as summer on the Arctic coast, Shell Alaska had to move its community barbecue indoors to the school gym. Billed as the oil company's thank-you to the Iñupiat Eskimo village that is about to become a base for offshore drilling operations, the event featured free hamburgers, beans and something rarely seen up in the Far North - plates heaped...
September 17, 2012 |
Shell Alaska said Monday it has abandoned its efforts to drill into hydrocarbon deposits in the offshore Arctic after the latest in a series of glitches on the company's troubled oil containment barge resulted in damage to the high-tech dome designed to contain oil in the event of an underwater spill. Company officials said they will continue to drill "top holes" off the Alaskan coast through the end of this season's drilling window, but will not attempt to reach any oil deposits this year -- a serious but not fatal setback for the company, which has spent six years attempting to explore its outer continental shelf leases off the coast of Alaska.
September 12, 2012
What a guy: Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), arguing on behalf of proposals that would enrich his oil-slicked state by directing the federal government to hand over more royalty money from offshore drilling, said Louisiana deserves the cash because it bears the brunt of the risks from oil production. "So that's a sacrifice that we make for people [in places like] California to be able to turn on their lights," he said during a House debate. Thanks, congressman, but really, you needn't trouble yourself.
August 31, 2012 |
WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - News that exploratory drilling in the Arctic could begin as early as next week brought a palpable sense of exuberance to the squat workers' camp on the Chukchi Sea, where Shell Alaska has been slowly preparing to launch operations about 70 miles offshore. “I've been waiting four years, coming up here to do this, and now I get to be here and be part of this new venture with the company. It's exciting,” Travis McNair, supervisor of Shell's oil spill response crew in this remote northwest Alaska coastal village, said in an interview.
August 30, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has given permission to Shell Oil to begin what it calls “preparatory work” in its controversial effort to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Alaska. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the permission will allow Shell to install a blowout preventer ahead of exploratory oil drilling. The preparatory work involves drilling to install the needed equipment, but the drilling will avoid pockets of oil and gas, Salazar said. Shell still has other hurdles to cross before it can actually drill for oil -- and winter deadlines are looming.
August 27, 2012 |
You can't blame Harry Shearer for feeling a twinge of regret just before the release of his latest satirical album of topical songs, "Can't Take a Hint. " "Pussy Riot and 'legitimate rape' in the news in the same week?" Shearer said, his eyes widening in disbelief as he leaned back into a love seat on the enclosed porch of his longtime home near the beach in Santa Monica. "I feel a little cheated. " But like anyone who's ever worked on an album - or any creative endeavor, for that matter - he also appreciates the pragmatic wisdom of Leonardo da Vinci's famous observation that "Art is never finished, only abandoned.
August 26, 2012 |
GIRDWOOD, Alaska - With its bid to launch offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean running up against a deadline to protect against sea ice, Shell Alaska has requested an extension in its window for drilling in the Chukchi Sea. Peter E. Slaiby, vice president of the Alaska venture, said Sunday that the company has proposed extending the time allowed for drilling in the Chukchi by slightly less than two weeks beyond the Sept. 24 deadline set by the U.S. Department of Interior to allow time for cleanup of any oil spill before the onset of winter sea ice. Meeting with reporters at an Arctic Imperative Summit here, Slaiby said the company's latest models for forecasting the onset of winter sea ice now show the first freeze-up occurring somewhat later than originally envisioned when federal officials imposed their initial deadline for ending operations in the Chukchi Sea. Drilling in the Beaufort Sea, closer to shore, already is allowed through Oct. 31. A deadline extension is important for Shell, which has spent more than $4.5 billion on preparing to drill its first exploratory wells off the coast of Alaska in more than 20 years.