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Chukchi Sea

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.
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.
(Marcus Bengtsson/Creative Commons)

Coast Guard probing cause of gash in Shell-contracted icebreaker

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In the Alaska port of Dutch Harbor on Thursday, workers were considering how to fix the damage to the MSV Fennica, which was discovered by crew members and a marine harbor pilot on July 3.
(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.