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Arctic drilling

Shell plans to use the Transocean Polar Pioneer, shown here in Dutch Harbor, Alaska,  to drill in the Chukchi Sea. (Photo: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Shell forges ahead in Arctic with exploratory well

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Shell Oil Co.’s first test is excavating a 20-foot wide, 40-foot deep cavern in the seabed that can shelter an emergency device known as a blowout preventer from passing icebergs.
An activist hangs from the St. Johns bridge in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, July 29, 2015, to protest  the departure of Royal Dutch Shell PLC icebreaker Fennica, which is in Portland for repairs.  The icebreaker is a vital part of Shell's exploration and spill-response plan off Alaska's northwest coast.  Greenpeace officials say  the activists have enough water and food to last for days, and can hoist themselves to allow other marine traffic to pass. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

U.S. judge rules Greenpeace in contempt for Oregon protest

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There was no sign that the protesters were about to leave Portland after the ruling in Anchorage by U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason that Greenpeace is in civil contempt.
An activist hangs from the St. Johns bridge in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, July 29, 2015, to protest  the departure of Royal Dutch Shell PLC icebreaker Fennica, which is in Portland for repairs.  The icebreaker is a vital part of Shell's exploration and spill-response plan off Alaska's northwest coast.  Greenpeace officials say  the activists have enough water and food to last for days, and can hoist themselves to allow other marine traffic to pass. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Activists rappel off Oregon bridge to stop Shell icebreaker

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The Royal Dutch Shell PLC icebreaker Fennica arrived in Portland for repairs last week. The vessel was damaged earlier this month in the Aleutian Islands when it struck an underwater obstruction, tearing a gash in its hull.
A drilling rig under contract to Shell arrives in Port Angeles, Washington en route to Alaska's Chukchi Sea, where Shell hopes to drill this summer. (Daniella Beccaria/seattlepi.com via AP, File) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; SEATTLE TIMES OUT; TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

Senate bill would give oil companies a decade more to drill in Arctic

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Oil companies could get 10 more years to drill on their Arctic leases, under a provision in a broader offshore drilling bill advancing in the Senate.
Shell plans to use the Transocean Polar Pioneer, shown here in Dutch Harbor, Alaska,  to drill in the Chukchi Sea. (Photo: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Obama administration OKs Arctic drilling, but imposes big constraints on Shell

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Shell could begin work within days, but the government-imposed restrictions could keep its drill bits from reaching potential oil-bearing rock thousands of feet below the surface of the Chukchi Sea.
The drillship Noble Discoverer undergoes sea trials off Singapore in November 2014, following shipyard work and upgrades. Those improvements included a new main propulsion system, environmental controls and enhancements to the drilling systems. (Photo: Noble Corp.)

Shell-contracted drillships begin final Arctic journey

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Shell Oil Co. still doesn’t have the final permits it needs to begin boring an exploratory oil well in the Chukchi Sea, but the Noble Discoverer’s departure from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on Friday suggests the company’s confidence that those authorizations are on the horizon.  
Shell plans to use the Transocean Polar Pioneer, shown here in Dutch Harbor, Alaska,  to drill in the Chukchi Sea. (Photo: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Oregon senator hopes Obama’s potential Arctic visit could spur White House to block drilling

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Shell’s work in the Arctic is far from guaranteed. The company is still seeking required drilling permits and repairs for a contracted icebreaker that is supposed to help safeguard operations this summer.
(Marcus Bengtsson/Creative Commons)

Environmentalists insist feds must block Shell’s Arctic drilling while icebreaker is away

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Shell is counting on the Fennica to keep ice at bay during normal drilling operations as well as any oil spill response, noted 10 environmental groups in a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
(Marcus Bengtsson/Creative Commons)

Shell-contracted icebreaker to get repairs in Oregon

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The decision to stitch up a meter-long gash in the MSV Fennica at a Vigor Industrial shipyard in Oregon, rather than on site in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, is another setback for Shell.
The MSV Fennica (Tom Doyle/Flickr)

Damaged Arctic icebreaker’s route questioned

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Newly analyzed marine tracking data shows a Shell-contracted icebreaker may have crossed through shallow waters that offered it little clearance.