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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

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?  

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.

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

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

BSEE Participates in Circumpolar Gap Analysis Workgroup

Workshop Participants Photo BSEE

  Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement staff from the Oil Spill Preparedness Division attended an international workshop last month that focused on how Arctic meteorological and oceanographic conditions can affect traditional oil spill response strategies.

Statoil’s Exit from Alaska ‘Disappointing’ -NOIA

Randall Luthi (Photo: NOIA)

NOIA President Randall Luthi, issued a statement on Statoil’s decision to exit the Alaskan Arctic, calling the departure “disappointing” yet “understandable” due to a tough economic and regulatory climate.  

Is Oil Industry Backing Away From Offshore Arctic Drilling ?

Prirazlomnaya platform. Photo: Information Directorate, Gazprom

 The principal difficulty for Arctic offshore drilling right now, according to oil industry think tank, is economic.  The companies may be back for another try at Arctic offshore drilling, in U.S. waters or elsewhere, if economic conditions change, reports AP.  

Arctic Oil Drilling: Why Does U.S. End It?

Image: An oil drilling rig operated by Royal Dutch Shell ran aground on a pristine wildlife-rich island in Alaska in 2013. Credit: Panda.Org

The Obama administration has taken steps to keep drill rigs out of Alaska's northern ocean for a decade or more. The sudden of turnabouts is attributed to slowing down of economy. The U.S. Department of Interior announced that it is canceling two lease sales and will not extend current leases for

U.S. Cancels Arctic Offshore lease Sale

Secretary Sally Jewell Photo Tami Heilemann Courtesy US Dept of the Interior

  The U.S. Interior Department on Friday said it would cancel two potential Arctic offshore lease sales after Royal Dutch Shell PLC said that it was not interested in those leases. "In light of Shell's announcement, the amount of acreage already under lease and current market

Italy's Eni Arrives Arctic as Shell Departs

Eni in the Arctic. Image credit: ENI

 As Shell retreats from the Arctic, the Italian oil giant Eni is making final preparations for its own oil exploration venture in the Norwegian Arctic, reports the Guardian.   Eni has vowed to press ahead with oil production - a $5.5bn (£3.6bn) project - in the Norwegian Arctic

House Bill Introduced to Block Arctic Drilling

Jared Huffman (Official photo)

Rep. Huffman introduces Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act; bill would prohibit oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Ocean   U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman (Dem.-Calif.) introduced a bill Monday called the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015

NOIA Commends Shell’s Efforts Offshore Alaska

Polar Pioneer rig operating into the floor of the Chukchi Sea

  National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement regarding Shell’s decision to halt exploration activities offshore Alaska:   “NOIA commends Shell’s efforts in the Chukchi Sea and recognizes the great expense

Shell Withdraws from Arctic Exploration

Fennica, an icebreaker vessel deployed by Shell in the Arctic (Photo: Arctia Shipping)

Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude in a move that will appease environmental campaigners and shareholders who said its project was too expensive and risky. Shell has spent about $7 billion on exploration in the waters off Alaska so far and

Aframax Tanker Designed for Arctic Shipping

Aframax tanker in-ice- Aker Arctic

A modern Aframax-sized tanker concept designed for transporting crude oil and oil product in the Arctic has been developed via collaboration between Deltamarin Ltd. and Aker Arctic Technology Inc.  In creating the new tanker concept, Deltamarin said it drew upon its expertise in affordable

Sanctioned Shipyard Hopes for Icebreaker Deals

On a sunny day on the Helsinki seafront, sparks fly from steel welding at the bustling Arctech shipyard, which seems insulated from Finland's economic recession as it strives to meet an order book that stretches into 2017. The world's biggest manufacturer of icebreakers

Canada Arctic Drilling Rules May Stifle Development

Canada's offshore Arctic drilling rules could "stifle" development since they do not provide incentives for companies to proceed with production after discovering oil, the government was told in a newly-released internal briefing note.  

Obama Pushes for US Icebreakers

File Image: Polar Star - one of the U.S. Coast Guards dwindling fleet of icebreakers.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed a faster timetable for buying a new heavy icebreaker for the U.S. Arctic, where quickly melting sea ice has spurred more maritime traffic and the United States has fallen far behind Russian resources.  

Obama Defends Arctic Oil Drilling

Image: Shell Global

 United States' President Barack Obama defends his decision to allow Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean.   He insisted that there was no contradiction between his climate change agenda and Arctic drilling.  

Shipping Rules to Protect Arctic Ocean

Photo: Friends of the Earth U.S.

 Clear and consistent rules that enhance maritime safety and best preserve what is important to Alaskans will benefit the entire Arctic region now and far into the future, reports ADN.   Experts forecast that the volume of cargo coming through that route is likely to increase from 1

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