Shell Alaska yesterday began drilling operations at its Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, offshore Alaska. The Noble Discoverer drillship is being used for the operations.
“The occasion is historic. It’s the first time a drill bit has touched the sea floor in the U.S. Chukchi Sea in more than two decades. Today marks the culmination of Shell’s six-year effort to explore for potentially significant oil and gas reserves, which are believed to lie under Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf. In the days to come, drilling will continue in the Chukchi Sea, and we will prepare for drilling to commence in the Beaufort Sea,” said the company in a press release.
- Arctic frontier opens as Shell begins drilling in Chukchi Sea (fuelfix.com)
- Statoil delays start of Chukchi drilling until at least 2015 (fuelfix.com)
- Drilling Off The Alaska Coast For The First Time In More Than Two Decades (alan.com)
Shell announced on its website that the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) denied all petitions for review of Shell’s Noble Discoverer OCS air permits.
As a result, Shell has, for the first time, usable air permits that will allow the Noble Discoverer to work in the Alaska OCS beginning in 2012.
“Achieving usable permits from the EPA is a very important step for Shell and one of the strongest indicators to date that we will be exploring our Beaufort and Chukchi leases in July. That our air permits for the Noble Discoverer withstood appeal is a testament to the robust nature of the work we have done to have the smallest possible impact on the Arctic air shed and further validates that Shell is a company uniquely-positioned to deliver a world-class drilling program in the Alaska offshore. We look forward to continued progress on the permitting front and remain committed to working with regulators and stakeholders to achieve all of the permits necessary to drill in 2012.” reads Shell’s statement.
Wilderness Society Director, Lois Epstein, recently expressed her opinion in which she assumed that neither Alaskans, the Nation nor Shell is, “ready to drill safely in the Arctic.” Ms. Epstein signed-on to a letter that claims Shell should be denied Arctic air permits because emissions from their drilling rigs and oil spill response fleet will accelerate global warming.
Pete Slaiby, Shell Alaska VP responded that “Shell has been arctic-ready for years”, saying that Shell and others have successfully drilled over 35 wells in the Alaska offshore without incident and that “Shell, alone, has dedicated more resources to Arctic science in the last five years than all Federal agencies combined.”
- USA: Environmental Groups Challenge EPA’s Permits for Shell’s Drillships
- Shell’s Arctic Drilling Plans Suffer Another Blow
- USA: Shell Makes Important Step toward Arctic Offshore Drilling
- USA: Offshore Drilling Rig Noble Bully I Arrives in Gulf of Mexico
- Alaska: Apex Reports Shell Prepares Drilling Machinery for Chukchi and Beaufort Seas
- BP, Shell to partake in arctic drilling inquiry, Telegraph says (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Shell Arctic drilling permit affirmed (cbc.ca)
- Shell Just Got The Air Permits It Needs For Exploratory Arctic Drilling (businessinsider.com)