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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.
(Getty Images)

Environmentalists: Feds should shelve Shell’s Arctic plans because of walrus rules

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In a four-page letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, 10 environmental groups delivered their strongest argument yet that Shell’s exploration plan is invalid and the Interior Department would violate federal law if it issued drilling permits for Shell’s planned wells in the Chukchi Sea.
(Marcus Bengtsson/Creative Commons)

Shell’s Arctic icebreaker damaged in Alaska

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Shell’s contracted ice management vessel, the MSV Fennica, is being examined by marine experts, but it is uncertain how quickly a breach in its hull can be repaired and whether this will delay the company’s hopes to begin drilling an oil well in the Chukchi Sea later this month.
(AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey, S.A. Sonsthagen)

Obama administration delivers big blow to Shell’s Arctic drilling plans

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The Fish and Wildlife Service said it could not authorize sound from Shell’s planned drilling of wells roughly nine miles apart to disturb walruses in the Chukchi Sea, because a 2013 requirement mandates a 15-mile buffer zone.
Activists who oppose Royal Dutch Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean prepare their kayaks for the "Paddle in Seattle" protest on Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Seattle. (Daniella Beccaria/seattlepi.com via AP)

Environmental groups, Alaska residents suing Interior Department over Shell’s Arctic exploration plan

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The lawsuit argues that the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management gave a rushed, cursory review to Shell’s Chukchi Sea exploratory plan, in the process overlooking the risks from potential spills and increased drilling in the region.