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BOEM

(Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Obama administration closes off two avenues for new Arctic drilling

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The Interior Department announced it was canceling government auctions of drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, previously scheduled for 2016 and 2017 respectively. At the same time, it formally rejected bids by Statoil and Shell for more time to search for crude under their existing Arctic leases.
(Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Shell abandons Arctic oil quest after $7 billion bid yields ‘disappointing’ results

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After failing to find commercially viable quantities of oil and gas at its Chukchi Sea well, Shell said it will halt exploring U.S. Arctic waters and could take a $4.1 billion write down.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Obama administration plan would ensure energy companies pay to scrap old offshore hulks

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The move by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is designed to ensure that the companies have set aside enough money to dismantle offshore facilities once oil and gas stops flowing.
Northstar Island, an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, is a site of oil and gas drilling. (U.S. Department of the Interior)

Feds to review Hilcorp’s plan for manmade island in Arctic

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Although other gravel islands have been built in the Beaufort Sea, Hilcorp’s proposed Liberty project would be the first oil production facility located entirely in federal waters off the Alaska coast.
In this March 31, 2015 photo, a supply vessel crosses an oil sheen drifting from the site of the former Taylor Energy oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana. The New Orleans-based company has downplayed the leak's environmental impact, likening it to scores of minor spills and natural seeps that the Gulf routinely absorbs. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Details on fight against decade-long Gulf oil spill to be released under court deal

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Details about a chronic oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico will be disclosed as part of the settlement agreement between Taylor Energy and environmental groups.
An aerial view of the Ensco 8502 drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. (Jennifer Dlouhy/Houston Chronicle)

Low oil prices drive down bidding for Gulf of Mexico drilling rights

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With just five companies participating and only 33 leases sold, the turnout was the lowest western Gulf auction since area-wide leasing began in 1983, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
An aerial view of the Centenario exploration oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. (AFP Photo/Omar Torres)

Offshore oil auction draws low interest

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Just five oil and gas companies submitted sealed bids for western Gulf of Mexico acreage, ahead of Wednesday’s auction in New Orleans.
(Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Shell asks feds for go-ahead to drill deeper in Arctic

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For now, Shell is restricted to drilling the top 3,000 feet of its Burger J well in the Chukchi Sea.
(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.