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Arctic Oil

Can't Touch This: The Climate Case Against Arctic Drilling

Photo: White House

 A new report released today by Oil Change International and Greenpeace USA details a clear case against drilling for oil in the Arctic ocean based on climate science imperatives.    The report, “Untouchable: The Climate Case Against Arctic Drilling,” shows U.S. Arctic offshore oil should be deemed an “untouchable” fossil fuel reserve by any reasonable measure.   The Obama administration’s fight against climate change is undermined by Shell’s quest for new oil reserves in the Arctic Ocean, warns the report.   "Industry and government claims that Arctic oil is “needed” are based on oil supply and demand scenarios that will lead to at least 5 degrees Celsius warming by 2100 – i.e. climate disaster," cautions the report.   “There is no reasonable scenario in which Arctic oil drilling and a safe climate future co-exist. Drilling in the Arctic is a climate disaster, plain and simple,” said report author Hannah McKinnon, senior campaigner with Oil Change International.   “If we are serious about tackling the global climate crisis, we need to stop exploring, expanding and ultimately exploiting fossil fuels. Projects that expand or break open new reserves and generate more greenhouse gas emissions clearly fail a test of what is safe for the global climate,” says the rpeort.  

Arctic Drilling Protest Get Star Power from Jane Fonda and Rachel McAdams

Image courtesy: Greenpeace

 Actors Jane Fonda and Rachel McAdams added their star power to protest against Shell’s plan to drill for oil in the Arctic. Both are opposed to Shell drilling in the Arctic.   The duo made public appearance at a Greenpeace rally in Vancouver, Canada, on Saturday to protest against oil sands development, tanker traffic and Arctic drilling.   Roughly 5,500 people attended the Toast the Coast event at Jericho beach on Saturday. The gathering celebrated the beauty of B.C

Halt Arctic Oil Drilling Urges UK Parliamentary Committee

The Environmental Audit Committee has published the report of its inquiry into Protecting the Arctic. The Environmental Audit Committee calls for a halt on oil drilling until:     •    A pan-Arctic oil spill response standard is in place     •    A stricter financial liability regime for oil and gas operations is introduced that requires companies to prove that they can meet the costs of cleaning up

Greenpeace Arctic Drilling Protest: 8 More Coralled

Iain Rogers

A further eight Greenpeace International activists have been detained for two months in Russia pending an investigation into possible charges of piracy. The eight will join 22 others, including a freelance videographer and freelance photographer, detained on Thursday following a peaceful protest against Arctic oil drilling. Greenpeace International pledged to appeal all 30 detentions. The 30 have already been held by the Russian authorities for 10 days since the Greenpeace ship Arctic

Seattle Fears Arctic drilling, Shell Moves Rigs

How we operate in the Arctic: Shell Global

 Shell Oil Co is poised to restart oil drilling in the Arctic in the near future once it receives the go-ahead from the U.S. government, which could happen soon.     The decision to allow the oil company access has been controversial among environmentalists groups as well as local communities that could be affected by the drilling.   Seattle city leaders are fighting to keep Arctic oil drilling equipment out of the Puget Sound as the Shell works on a deal to store the

BSEE Oversees Testing of Shell’s Arctic Equipment

Photo: BSEE

Testing of Shell’s proposed Arctic-ready capping stack system was supervised this week by the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) in Puget Sound, BSEE Director Brian Salerno announced today.   BSEE Alaska Region Director Mark Fesmire oversaw the testing to ensure compliance with Federal safety standards for oil and gas exploration on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf.   The capping stack

Thousands Stand Up for Greenpeace Detainees

Photo credit Greenpeace

Thousands of people took part in an emergency day of solidarity protests 5, October 2013, around the world to demand the release of 30 people imprisoned in Russia after they were detained aboard a Greenpeace ship in the Arctic. Peaceful events were held on every continent, in more than 135 locations across 45 countries, from New Zealand to Mexico, from Thailand to Finland and the United States. There are also protests planned across Russia.

Netherlands Pushes for Release of Arctic Greenpeace Protestors

The Dutch government has lodged a rare application at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), asking it to order the immediate release of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise and all those who were aboard for the peaceful protest against Gazprom’s Arctic oil platform, the Prirazlomnaya. If ITLOS rules in favor of the Netherlands, the 28 Greenpeace International activists, freelance photographer Denis Sinyakov and freelance videographer Kieron Bryan could go home while

Greenpeace Arctic 30 Activists Wait for Permission to Exit Russia

The Arctic 30: Photo credit Greenpeace

Lawyers for the Arctic 30 have started to lodge applications with Russia's Investigative Committee seeking exit visas for the non-Russian nationals. If the applications are approved, the foreign nationals would be allowed to leave Russia to await ongoing investigations into their Greenpeace International Arctic oil drilling protest. All of the foreign nationals, 26 people from 17 nations, have had their passports returned to them after their release on bail from detention last month

Alaska Drilling - Now or Never?

Despite surging production from U.S. shale plays, the scale of long-term production remains uncertain, leading to the question of where will be the next major play? Attention is being focused on Arctic Alaska, where reserves are waiting to be exploited. Geologists estimate total Arctic oil reserves of nearly 134bn BOE, 28% of which lie in US territory, and some 39bn BOE of natural gas. So what’s the catch?  

Foss Maritime: Hard at Work in the Arctic

Glacier Wind in Cook Inlet (Image courtesy of Foss Maritime)

As the oil industry awaits a much-needed rebound, Foss Maritime’s robust presence in the Arctic region underscores its commitment to the region, the environment, and a business plan that looks ahead to the next chapter.   Reports of the death of commercial Arctic activities have been

Uncharted Waters: Mega-cruise Ships Ply Arctic Waters

First luxury cruise sailed Northwest Passage in Aug-Sept; Voyage will be repeated next summer.  A surge in Arctic tourism is bringing ever bigger cruise ships to the formerly isolated, ice-bound region, prompting calls for a clamp-down to prevent Titanic-style accidents and the pollution

Sailing into the Arctic’s Future

Randall Luthi (Photo: NOIA)

Last month, a large cruise ship completed its inaugural cruise through the Northwest Passage. The historic journey brought nearly 1,700 passengers from Seward, Alaska, past the rugged wilderness and isolated villages of the Arctic, to the concrete jungle of New York City

Changing Spill Risk in a Changing Arctic Landscape

Dagmar Schmidt Etkin

Industry analyst and environmental consultant Dagmar Schmidt Etkin, PhD, takes a hard look at a rapidly shifting operational landscape in the Arctic. Always an honest broker of information, Etkin tells it like it is.    Oil spill risk is present anywhere that oil is present in

Statoil Goes Ahead with Arctic Field after Halving Costs

Photo: Statoil

Norwegian oil major Statoil plans to develop its Arctic Johan Castberg oilfield after having cut costs by half, with a decision on investments in 2017, its chief executive said on Tuesday.   Worried by high costs of operating in the remote Arctic Barents Sea

Green Groups Urge Arctic Council Urged to Ban HFO

Supply ship. Photo: WWF-Canada

 Environmental groups want the eight countries that ring the North Pole to take a stand on banning the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO), considered one of the greatest threats to the Arctic ecosystem, reports  Canadian Press.   The use of heavy fuel oil by shipping in the Arctic could

Arctic Shipping Routes May Open by 2080 -NOC

Photo: NOC

Commercial summer shipping across the North Pole may be possible by the end of the century, with the first potential crossings feasible for ice-strengthened ships around 2040.    According to this study, by scientists at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC)

First Vessel Secures IMO Polar Code Compliance

Magne Viking (Photo: Viking Supply Ships)

 AHTS Magne Viking, owned by Viking Supply Ships, is in compliance with the new IMO Polar Code, confirms DNV GL and the Danish Maritime Authority following a successful survey.    “Having followed the development of the Polar Code for some years

Arctic Thaw Presents Shipping Risks to Environment

The U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker Polar Star (credit: USCG)

Rising average temperatures are melting ice; the call goes out for heavy fuel oil to be regulated in Arctic. The Arctic is thawing even faster than lawmakers can formulate new rules to prevent the environmental threat of heavy fuel oil pollution from ships plying an increasingly popular trade

WWF-Canada Brings Lawsuit Against Shell on Arctic

Two narwhal (Monodon monoceros) surfacing to breathe in Admiralty Inlet, Lancaster Sound, Nunavut, Canada. Photo: WWF-Canada

 WWF-Canada, represented by Ecojustice lawyers, is taking legal action to quash Arctic oil and gas exploration permits that continue to obstruct conservation efforts in Lancaster Sound, Nunavut.   The environmental group believes they “continue to obstruct conservation

Statoil Looks to the Arctic to Increase Exploration off Norway

Oil firm Statoil is looking to a rebound in exploration activity offshore Norway in the next few years with a focus on the Arctic, having curbed activity due to the oil price slump, the firm's exploration chief for Norway told Reuters.  

Hundreds of Scientists Urge Obama to Halt Arctic Oil Drilling

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

 Nearly 400 scientists from more than a dozen countries signed a letter urging U.S. President Barack Obama to take the Arctic Ocean out of the next federal offshore lease sale plan, thus ruling out the possibility of offshore drilling in the Arctic in the near future.  

US Boatbuilding: Sink or Swim

Joe Hudspeth

Navigating interesting times has the nation’s shipbuilding industry searching in unusual places. The answers could be blowing in the wind.  Conducting commerce and forecasting the future for shipyards is akin to setting out in uncharted waters

Stakeholders Discuss Use of HFO in the Arctic

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) held a public listening session in Washington D.C. on September 27, 2016 to address ships’ use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the Arctic, examining its risks and as well as potential mitigation strategies which can be taken to the International Maritime Organization

Op-Ed: Alaska's Golden Offshore Opportunity

Credit: Shell McCown

Offshore energy presents a golden opportunity for Alaska and the United States.   As we enter the final quarter of the year, one of the last and most pressing pieces of business facing the Interior Department is to finalize its next offshore leasing program

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