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Arctic Sea

Operation to Liberate the MV Arctic Sea

According to Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, eight people of Estonian, Latvian and Russian nationality were arrested during the operation to liberate the Arctic Sea. Investigations revealed that on July 24, 2009, these people boarded the Arctic Sea and using the threat of arms, demanded that the crew change course. Then the Arctic Sea sailed on to an African route indicated by the aggressors and turned off its navigation equipment. Serdyukov reported on the measures taken in accordance with the President's instructions concerning the disappearance of the Arctic Sea and the Russian crew on board. Earlier on during the meeting, Serdyukov reported to President Medvedev that the crew of the Arctic Sea has been released.


Arctic Sea Ice Report

The National Snow and Ice Data Center, sponsored by the University of Colorado and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), issued its report on Arctic sea ice. The ice in the Arctic Ocean has reached its minimum extent for 2009 and is starting to reform. This year’s minimum extent is above the record and near-record minimums of the last two years, but lower than the average minimums of the past 30 years. (9/17/09).


Underprepared for Maritime Accidents

NOAA photo: Ice and open water in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska.

The UNH/NOAA said that the existing infrastructure for responding to maritime accidents in the Arctic is limited and more needs to be done to enhance emergency response capacity as Arctic sea ice declines and ship traffic in the region increases, according to new report released on Jan. 29 by the University of New Hampshire and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report details findings from a panel of experts and decision-makers from Arctic nation governments


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


ABB to Supply Key Equipment for Russian Icebreaker

Depicted: The new icebreaker vessel under construction for Russia’s state shipping company Rosmorport FSUE.

ABB wins $35 million order for next generation icebreaker in Russia’s Arctic. Integrated propulsion and electrical systems to maximize performance and energy efficiency of icebreaker expected to operate in 2 meters of ice at minus 35 degrees Celsius Zurich, Switzerland, October 1, 2012 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, recently won an order worth $35 million from the Baltic Shipyard Ltd


Russia's Floating Research Station Unfolds in the Arctic

Arctic Research: The University of Alaska Fairbanks

 The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources says that Russia plans to establish a floating research station in Arctic sea. The floating research station “North Pole-41” is already in the making, says the Ministry statement.   The Ministry says that the station will be an important instrument in securing Russian presence in the Arctic and will give Russia the opportunity to set new priorities for the scientific research on the drifting ice.  


Northern Sea Route Ice-free Soon?

EM Bird: Photo credit AWI

Winter measurements by Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research point to early and large scale summer melt The Northern Passage, the sea route along the North coast of Russia, is expected to be free of ice early again this summer. The forecast was made by sea ice physicists of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association based on a series of measurement flights over the Laptev Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean.


Icebreakers Ordered for Neft’s Novy Port Project

Image: Aker Arctic

Aker Arctic’s icebreaker design selected for Gazprom Neft’s Novy Port project   Aker Arctic and Vyborg Shipyard have confirmed a contract for the design of two new icebreakers based on Aker ARC 130 A design. The icebreakers will be used in the oil terminal operated by LLC Gazprom Neft Novy Port in the Gulf of Ob.   The new icebreakers represent a further development of the Aker ARC 130 icebreaker concept originally developed for the Finnish Transport Agency


NOAA Deploys Survey Ships for Arctic Charting Projects

NOAA ships spent the last several days preparing for their Arctic missions. Here, Chief Bosun Jim Kruger (front) works with Jason Kinyon and Lindsey Houska on NOAA Ship Rainier as they get ready to depart this week for the summers first Arctic survey project, in Kotzebue Sound.(Credit: NOAA)

Effort aims to improve navigational safety with updated maps of region   NOAA announced the official launch of its 2015 Arctic hydrographic survey season took place this morning, in Kodiak, Alaska, in a World Ocean Day ceremony which showcased the deployment of the NOAA ships Rainier and Fairweather.   “Most Arctic waters that are charted were surveyed with obsolete technology, with some of the information dating back to Captain Cook's voyages


U.S. Draft Recovery Plan for Threatened Polar Bears

Polar bear Photo WWF

  U.S. wildlife managers released on Thursday a draft plan for stemming the decline of polar bears threatened by melting Arctic sea ice linked to global warming, but the proposal hinges on reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that are far from assured. Under a plan to be officially submitted on Monday for public comment, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is urging cutbacks in carbon dioxide and other atmospheric pollutants generated by the burning of fossil fuels.


Russia, US Agree on Arctic Fishing Ban

Photo: NOAA

Five nations set moratorium on fishing near North Pole; no fish there now, but thaw is drawing stocks north. The United States, Russia and other Arctic nations signed an agreement deal on Thursday to bar their fishing fleets from fast-thawing seas around the North Pole


Commandant Discusses Coast Guard’s Role in the Arctic

Coast Guard Cutter Healy patrols the Arctic Ocean during a Coast Guard Research and Development Center joint civil and federal search and rescue exercise near Oliktok Point, Alaska, July 13, 2015. The Healy is a 420-foot icebreaker homeported in Seattle. (USCG photo by Grant DeVuyst)

U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Paul Zukunft presented at last week’s 6th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations in Washington, DC. Summarizing Adm. Zukunft’s speech, Maritime Commons has provided highlights of the


US: Shell is Not Yet Allowed to Drill in Arctic Oil Zone

Fennica (Photo: Arctia Shipping)

The U.S. Interior Department on Wednesday granted Royal Dutch Shell two final permits to explore for crude in the Arctic this summer, but said the company cannot drill into the oil zone until required emergency equipment arrives in the region.  


US Senator Introduces Bill to Stop Arctic Drilling

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (official portrait)

A piece of legislation aiming to stop offshore Arctic drilling was introduced last week by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. The legislation, entitled Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015, would prevent new or renewed leases for the exploration, development or production of oil


Arctic Ocean Acidification May Corrode Animals' Shells

Arctic Ocean experiencing acidification. Photo: NOAA

 Arctic Ocean is facing a dilemma today and that is acidification. Ocean acidification is a result or a chemical reaction which happens when seawater absorbs too much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere—reducing its acidity, carbon ion concentration and saturation.  


Russian Arctic Offshore Drilling Postponed

Russian Arctic offshore drilling set for 2015 to be postponed to 2016 or later - Novak   Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday that Arctic offshore drilling planned for this year will be postponed until 2016 or later.  


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


Polish Oilfirm Goes Arctic

Image: Environmental Action

 Polish energy company Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG) will compete with Russian companies Rosneft and Lukoil, as well as a number of other companies, for Norwegian Arctic licenses.   If successful, PGNiG could potentially get license stakes in projects located directly


Environmentalists: Walrus Population at Risk in Arctic

Green groups urged the U.S. Department of Interior on Tuesday to revoke the agency's conditional approval of Royal Dutch Shell's 2015 Arctic oil exploration plan, saying it runs counter to established protections for walruses. A 2013 rule implemented by the Fish and Wildlife Service


Exxon, BP Defer Canadian Arctic Drilling

Beaufort Sea. Photo: NOAA

 As Imperial Oil, as senior partner in the northern venture with ExxonMobil and BP, told Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) that the exploration program has been deferred, the plan to revive arctic gas and oil drilling in deep Canadian waters of the Beaufort Sea ground to a halt.


Activists Planning Protest Against Shell's Arctic Business

U.S. environmental activists said they planned to protest on Tuesday against the launch of the second of two oil rigs central to Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. The Washington state activists, who have staged frequent demonstrations over the last two months against Royal


Shell Rig Departs for Arctic Despite Protest

U.S. Coast Guard and police boats cleared a way through protesters in kayaks at a Seattle-area port on Tuesday so a drilling ship could head for the Arctic on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell.   The Noble Discover is the second drilling ship Shell has sent to the area in recent days.  


Damaged Shell Ship Needed for Arctic Drilling Heads to Oregon

Fennica (Photo: Arctia Shipping)

Royal Dutch Shell said on Monday that an icebreaker crucial to its planned Arctic oil drilling will be sent to Portland, Oregon, to repair a gash in its hull, but is not expected to delay plans to begin drilling off northern Alaska later in July.  


Green Groups Ask U.S. to Stall Shell's Final Arctic Permits

MSV Fennica. Pic by Arctia Shipping

 Ten environmental groups say a missing icebreaker should be a deal-breaker for Arctic offshore drilling by Royal Dutch Shell PLC off Alaska's northwest coast and urged the U.S. government not to grant final permits to Shell, reports Reuters and AP.  


'Kayaktivists' Take Shell Arctic Protest Nationwide

Noble Discoverer transits Puget Sound after its departure from the Port of Everett, Wash., June 30. Noble Discoverer was the last of three oil drilling and support vessels to depart western Washington for the Arctic this summer. (USCG photo by Amanda Norcross)

Environmental activists in the U.S. prepare to take their so-called “kayaktivism” nationwide as they urge lawmakers to revoke oil and gas exploration leases in the Chukchi Sea, says environmental group Friends of the Earth. The group’s “Shell No” day on July 18






 
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