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The Polar Pioneer, a drilling rig contracted by Shell for Chukchi Sea exploration in 2015, is transported across the Pacific on the heavy-lift vessel Blue Marlin. (Photo: Vincenzo Floramo / Greenpeace)

Sea ice could keep Shell away from the Arctic until mid July

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Even if Shell wins all federal permits to drill in the Chukchi Sea this summer, sea ice could block it from launching the work until late July.
FILE - In this May 21, 2015, file photo, a worker removes oil from sand at Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, Calif. An underground pipe, owned by Plains All American Pipeline, spewed oil down a culvert and into the Pacific on May 19 before it was shut off. Democratic U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein say the response to the oil spill that blackened beaches and created a 10-square-mile slick on the ocean was "insufficient." and called on federal regulators to provide more details on the activities and decisions by Plains. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Pipeline firm couldn’t reach staff at California spill site

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Plains All American workers at the site near Santa Barbara were contending with “immediate demands and distractions” and couldn’t be reached by Plains personnel based in Bakersfield, documents said. One of the workers, along with firefighters, used shovels to try to construct a makeshift berm to slow the oil’s spread.
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.)

Coast Guard clears Shell drillship bound for Arctic

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The Noble Discoverer, now docked in Washington state waters, has received a critical “certificate of compliance” from the U.S. Coast Guard verifying it meets a host of safety and security requirements. Since a May 20 Coast Guard inspection, Shell and Noble cleared more than a dozen violations documented at the vessel.
The Polar Pioneer, a drilling rig contracted by Shell for Chukchi Sea exploration in 2015, is transported across the Pacific on the heavy-lift vessel Blue Marlin. (Photo: Vincenzo Floramo / Greenpeace)

No “showstoppers” yet for Shell’s Arctic drilling plans

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An emergency containment system was being tested in waters near Washington state on Tuesday, while those drilling permit reviews are under way.
Seattle's skyline provides the backdrop for the Transocean Polar Pioneer, while it is being loaded with supplies in the city's port in May 2015. Shell plans to use the rig this summer to bore an exploratory oil well at its Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, about 70 miles northwest of the Alaska coast. A separate drillship, the Noble Discoverer, is set to work on another Burger well at the same time. (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Shell drilling rig leaves Seattle for Alaska waters

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Tugboats are pulling a Shell-contracted Arctic drilling rig around protesters in Puget Sound, as the Polar Pioneer begins its long trek to Alaska.
U.S. Coast Guard image showing the Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig Kulluk aground off a small island near Kodiak Island on Jan. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Feds rap Shell for poor planning in botched tow of 2012 Arctic drilling rig

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The NTSB report comes at a pivotal time for Shell, which has asked federal regulators for permission to resume exploratory oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea as soon as July.
(AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

U.S. ocean regulator accidentally discharges oil into New Hampshire river

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The Coast Guard says the Ferdinand R. Hassler discharged the water overboard while at its moorings in New Castle on Tuesday.
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This photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows a fire on the Breton Island platform on Friday, May 22, 2015 off the coast of Louisiana.  (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

Fire on coastal Louisiana oil platform extinguished

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The Coast Guard reported that a light sheen of oil near the site appeared to be dissipating and moving away from the Breton National Wildlife Refuge on the nearby barrier islands.
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Fire on Gulf oil platform forces evacuation of 28 workers

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The Coast Guard reported a light sheen of oil could be seen from the air along a more than one-mile stretch of water. Also, about 4,000 barrels of crude oil is stored on the platform.
In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department people walk on a beach with an oil slick from a broken pipeline off the central California coast near Santa Barbara on Tuesday, May 19. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

4-mile oil slick lines California coast after pipeline spill

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Initial estimates put the spill at about 21,000 gallons Tuesday, but that figure would likely change after a Wednesday morning flyover gave a better sense of the spill’s scope, U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Jennifer Williams said.