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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Arctic Oil News

Russia to Release Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise

Arctic Sunrise (Photo: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert / Greenpeace)

Russia’s investigative committee (IC) this morning informed Greenpeace International that it has annulled the arrest of the ship Arctic Sunrise, which has remained in custody in Murmansk since performing a protest against Arctic oil drilling September 19, 2013. According to Greenpeace, the investigative committee recently extended its investigation into the protest at the Prirazlomnaya platform by two months, until July 24. However, lawyers acting for Greenpeace International were informed of the ship’s release during a meeting in the port city of Murmansk this morning.

Arctic Oil Spill Contingency Plan Devised by Students

Summer students: Photo credit DNV

DNV’s summer students present results of work to develop a realistic concept for a year-round Arctic oil spill response system. The Norwegian students' project included requirements for people, vessels and equipment. DNV’s summer project is an annual programme organised during the summer months for students in their final year of a master’s degree programme. This year, ten students with varied cultural and academic backgrounds worked intensely on their project for seven weeks. The focus has been on developing an Arctic oil spill response system.

Scientists to Simulate Arctic Spills

According to CBC, a group of Arctic oil spill experts who recently met in Halifax say they plan to create artificial spills in northern waters to learn how to clean them up. Six oil companies are backing a series of international experiments aimed at improving technology for cleaning up spills. Norwegian scientist Evor Sinksus says more oil production and shipping traffic in the Arctic has During the next three years, the scientists plan to create oil spills in Canada's Beaufort Sea and also in Arctic waters off of Norway. Source: CBC

Arctic Holds Over 113 Bboe, Report Says

Infield Systems has published a new report on prospects for the offshore Arctic oil and gas sector through 2017. Infield has identified over 130 Bboe in discovered oil, gas, and condensate reserves throughout the offshore Arctic/sub-arctic regions. Around 114 Bboe, or 86% of the total, are gas reserves, with around 16 Bbbl of oil, according to the report.    (Source: Offshore Magazine)

World War 3 or Cold War? Focus On Arctic Oil

Battle for the Arctic: Map by Popular Resistance

The Arctic is heating up, both climatically and militarily. Vladimir Putin sends troops and jets to oil- and gas-rich region also coveted by Canada, United States, Norway and Denmark. A report by the Inquisitr says that although not a single politician or world leader has specifically mentioned the possibility of World War 3 over Arctic oil drilling, many experts feel long term economic pressures may be the driver for war. Vladimir Putin's deployment of thousands of Russian ground troops into the Arctic might seem simply like a strategic shift north of Europe…

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.

EU Lawmakers Reject Call for Ban on Arctic Oil Exploration

© ggw / Adobe stock

The European Parliament rejected a call to ban Arctic oil and gas exploration on Thursday, in a symbolic vote seen as a barometer for future moves by Brussels to regulate to protect the region. Lawmakers who back the ban, which had drawn the ire of Norway, say the European Union needs a strategy for future developments in a region being transformed by climate change. Lawmakers voted 414-180 to reject the non-binding motion calling for the European Commission and member states to work with international forums towards "a future total ban on the extraction of Arctic oil and gas".

Shell Signals US Arctic Return, Greenpeace Unwelcoming

Anti-Gazprom banner at Swiss Football Stadium: Photo credit Greenpeace

According to Greenpeace, Shell's CFO Simon Henry said that the company is putting the building blocks in place to drill in Alaskan Arctic as early as next year. "Shell's Arctic bravado is a desperate attempt to reassure its investors, but the facts tell a different story. Brushing off the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars and casually scrapping a drilling platform are not the actions of a company in control of its operations. "In 2012 Shell proved that it is completely unfit to drill in the remote Arctic, a place of unrivaled beauty where any spill would be an environmental disaster.

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.'s oceans, and opposed Arctic oil drilling, coastal pipelines, and the use of oil tankers.

Nobel Prize Winners Join Forces to Plead Greenpeace Arctic Case

Photo credit Greenpeace

Eleven Nobel Peace Prize laureates including Archbishop Desmond Tutu have written a joint letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin offering their support to twenty eight Greenpeace International activists, a freelance photographer and a freelance filmmaker who are being detained in a Russian prison whilst they are investigated for allegations of piracy. Describing the Arctic as a “precious treasure of humanity,” the signatories are all supporting efforts to protect the High North from oil exploration and climate change. They write, “Arctic oil drilling is a dangerous, high-risk enterprise.

Halt Arctic Oil Drilling Urges UK Parliamentary Committee

The Environmental Audit Committee has published the report of its inquiry into Protecting the Arctic. "The oil companies should come clean and admit that dealing with an oil spill in the icy extremes of the Arctic would be exceptionally difficult. The infrastructure to mount a big clean-up operation is simply not in place and conventional oil spill response techniques have not been proven to work in such severe conditions. Drilling is only currently feasible in the Arctic during a short summer window when it is relatively ice-free. The report also looks at the effect that climate change is having on the Arctic. It warns that a collapse in summer Arctic sea-ice…

Russia Ships First Oil From Offshore Arctic Platform

(Image: http://media.gazprom-neft.com)

President Vladimir Putin hailed Russia's first shipment of Arctic offshore oil on Friday, saying the platform decried by environmentalists will help Moscow expand its global energy markets share. Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russia's top gas producer Gazprom, shipped the first 70,000 tonnes of oil by tanker from the Prirazlomnoye platform, the site of a protest by 30 Greenpeace activists who were arrested last year. The launch of oil production in the Arctic, seen by Russia as one of the key sources in the gradual replacement of output from its depleted West Siberian fields…

Arctic Protest Ship Arrested, Due Murmansk

Arctic Sunrise approaching Murmansk: Photo credit Greenpeace

Greenpeace's “Arctic Sunrise” is nearing the Russian port on tow from the Pechora Sea, accompanied by a Russian Coast Guard vessel (with the protest crew locked up on board) after an attempt to board the Gazprom drilling rig Prirazlomnaya. The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise is close to arriving in the port of Murmansk after being boarded by Russian authorities last week following a peaceful protest against Arctic oil drilling. The ship has arrived under tow in the fjord near Murmansk  accompanied by a tug boat and the Russian Coast Guard vessel Ladoga…

Shell Aims to Develop Arctic Oil Field

One of the world's biggest oil companies believes Arctic waters, including those north of Alaska, hold huge promise as an oil and gas frontier, according to a Petroleum News report. Facing depletion of its regular oil sources, Shell views the Arctic as a very tantalizing opportunity to develop new oil and gas resources. The company's views tend to support studies by academics and agencies that Arctic basins contain about 25 percent of the world's remaining undiscovered resources, according to the report. All of these basins are outside of the control of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and most are unexplored and undeveloped.

Greenpeace Protest Ship Threatened, Leaves Kara Sea

Arctic Sunrise: Image courtesy of Greenpeace

Having defied Russian refusal to grant the Greenpeace ship 'Arctic Sunrise' permission to enter the Kara Sea area on the Northern Sea Route, Russian coastguards boarded and threatened to open fire unless the protesters turned back. An oil spill here is practically inevitable – and a clean up virtually impossible. At risk is the fragile Arctic nature, the narwhals, polar bears, bowhead whales, walruses, seals, and dozens of bird species. At risk is also the planet – more oil, more carbon in the atmosphere, accelerated climate change.

StatoilHydro Starts Test Drilling in Arctic Oil Prospect

StatoilHydro has begun a two-year drilling program in Arctic waters to determine the potential of Norway's share of one of the world's few remaining unexplored oil prospects, the Financial Times reported.It also hopes to cooperate with Russian companies such to find oil and gas further into the Arctic. StatoilHydro last month started deliveries of liquefied natural gas from an offshore field inside the Arctic circle with its Snohvit project. Over the next 18 months or so, StatoilHydro test the area around the development to see if it can find enough to justify building a second LNG line. Lund suggested in an interview with the newspaper that he wants Norway to work with Russia on future development of Arctic resources.

Seattle Gums Up Shell's Arctic Ambitions

Photo by ShellNo Action Council‎

Royal Dutch Shell's quest to return to Arctic drilling for the first time in three years could face delays after Seattle ruled that the city's port must apply for a permit before hosting rigs. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a Democrat who has fought against new projects by coal and oil companies, threw a serious barrier in front of the waterfront when he announced the port doesn't have the right permit to allow Shell's vessels to dock at Terminal 5. He applauded the requirement by the city's planning department.

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 Sunrise was illegally boarded (in the view of Greenpeace) in international waters on Thursday, September 19.

Greenpeace Campaigners Include Lucy Lawless in NZ Shell Protest

Greenpeace Campaigner: Photo credit Greenpeace

Lucy Lawless joins Greenpeace action against Arctic oil drilling. Right now Greenpeace activists are stopping a Shell drill ship from leaving the Port of Taranaki in New Zealand for the Arctic. Climbers - including actress Lucy Lawless - have scaled the rig's drill derrick and set up camp, equipped with enough gear to last for days. Updated at 5:17 pm today by Radio New Zealand: Seven Greenpeace activists who occupied an oil exploration ship at the port of New Plymouth have been charged with burglary.

Shell Eyes Arctic Drilling this Summer

(Photo: Shell)

Oil major Shell wants to revive its Arctic oil drilling programme this year after a near two-year suspension, angering environmentalists who say the risk of an oil spill is too high. Remote and costly to develop, the Arctic is estimated to contain 20 percent of the world's undiscovered hydrocarbon resources and despite fierce opposition, plans for drilling north of the Arctic Circle are under way in the United States, Russia and Norway. Shell, Europe's largest energy firm, is intent on restarting its Arctic drilling campaign in Alaska's Chukchi Sea this summer.

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. The slow pace of regulatory review has left too little time to finish the approval process and does the work before the group's drilling leases expire, Imperial said in a filing at the board. The partners – Calgary-based Imperial…

Shell's Arctic Return Faces Hurdle at Seattle Port

Royal Dutch Shell's quest to return to Arctic drilling for the first time in three years could face delays after Seattle ruled that the city's port must apply for a permit for the company to use it as a hub for drilling rigs. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a Democrat who has fought against new projects by coal and oil companies, applauded the requirement by the city's planning department. "This is an opportunity for the port and all of us to make a bold statement about how oil companies contribute to climate change, oil spills and other environmental disasters - and reject this short-term lease," Seattle's Mayor Ed Murray said on his website. The Puget Sound region has a decades-long history as a hub for equipment used in energy drilling in Alaska.

BSEE Attends Arctic Council Meeting

David Moore (Photo: BSEE)

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) David M. Moore recently traveled to Seattle, Wash., for a meeting of the Arctic Council Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) Working Group. The EPPR Working Group addresses various aspects of prevention, preparedness, and response to environmental emergencies in the Arctic. Working Group members, which include representatives from eight member nations, share information on best practices and conduct projects to develop guidance and risk assessment methodologies, response exercises and training specific to the Arctic.

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