Pew Disappointed by Chukchi Sea Drilling Approval

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The federal Minerals Management Service gave the green light to Shell Oil's plan to drill exploratory wells in the waters of the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast next summer.

"We are very concerned because drilling for oil runs the risk of devastating spills in a sensitive marine ecosystem already stressed by dramatic climate change," said Marilyn Heiman, director of the Pew Environment Group's U.S. Arctic program. "Careful scientific research should come before drilling in the Chukchi."

Shell purchased a swath of oil leases in the Chukchi Sea in 2008 when the previous administration opened up 30 million acres for drilling. Beginning in July 2010, Shell plans to drill three exploratory wells - the first time in 19 years that drilling will be allowed in the Chukchi Sea northwest of Barrow. The exploration program is a massive industrial undertaking requiring a 514-ft drillship, ice-breaker and support vessels.

"Exploratory drilling could have a significant impact on migrating bowhead whales and other marine mammals that are central to the Inupiat people's traditional way of life," Heiman said.

Drilling poses other dangers, the Pew Environmental Group said, including major oil spills in an extremely remote area where clean-up would be challenging if not impossible due to high winds and seas, frigid temperatures, long periods of darkness and broken ice. Shell's exploration drilling in the Chukchi will take place about 150 miles offshore, far from the infrastructure of staff, ships and clean-up equipment that would be quickly needed should a spill occur. According to the Pew, adequate technology to clean up oil in broken ice has not been proven to work in the U.S. Arctic Ocean.

"Oil drilling puts more pressure on a marine environment where walrus and ice seals and other mammals are already struggling because of rapidly melting ice," Heiman said. "We urge the Obama administration to take a precautionary, science-based approach to any new oil development in the U.S. Arctic Ocean to protect this vibrant place for future generations."

(www.pewarcticoceans.org)

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

Teekay Petrojarl Contracts Damen for FPSO Upgrade

Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam (DSR), part of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC), has been awarded an EPC contract by Petrojarl I LLC for the upgrade of its FPSO Petrojarl I.

DNV GL Targets Safer Approach to Subsea Lifting

The completion of a joint industry project (JIP) to improve existing standards and regulations around subsea lifting operations has resulted in a new recommended practice (RP).

Polarcus Awarded 3D Project Off West Africa

Polarcus Limited has signed a letter of intent with Perenco Oil & Gas Gabon S.A. for a 3D marine seismic acquisition project offshore West Africa.   The project,

Environmental

Sekimizu Welcomes Shipper’s Revised Stance on Ballast Water

IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has welcomed the reconsideration by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) of its position towards the ratification by

Royal Caribbean to Install Scrubbers on 19 Ships

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) will retrofit 19 of its ships with advanced emissions purification (AEP) systems. These systems, also known as scrubbers, will

NZ Report: Human Error to Blame for Rena Grounding

New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) published its final report into the grounding of containership Rena in October 2011. The TAIC’s

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1856 sec (5 req/sec)