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Old 26th Sep 2013, 07:43
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Shell Silent on Arctic Operations

SEATTLE ó Shell Oil has not disclosed new safety measures since a critical federal report in March, and it has not applied to drill in the Arctic in 2014. Six months after federal officials chastised Shell Oil for its faulty offshore drilling operations in the Arctic, the company has yet to explain what safeguards it has put in place or when it plans to resume exploring for oil in the vulnerable region.

Shell Oilís Kulluk drilling barge off southern Alaska in December

Shell's 2012 return to offshore Arctic exploration after a generation away was marred by high-profile problems, including hefty fines for polluting the air and a drilling rig that ran aground. The company canceled its 2013 drilling season, and its 2014 operations are in question.

The Interior Department is scheduled to unveil a set of tightened safeguards for offshore Arctic drilling before the end of the year, regulations whose need is underscored by Shell's difficulties.

"If we don't do this right, we are opening America's Arctic to catastrophic industrial disasters," said Jim Ayers, former director of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, who helped review the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Arctic is home to some of the most extreme weather conditions in the world. It is covered in ice for eight to nine months each year and cloaked in darkness for a third of that time. The closest Coast Guard base is nearly 1,000 miles away.
Shell Oil's Arctic drilling operations in limbo - latimes.com
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