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Discoverer

Shell's Arctic drilling vessel the Noble Discoverer arrives in Everette on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (Daniella Beccaria, seattlepi.com)

Records detail equipment failure on Arctic drilling rig

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The records, provided by the U.S. Coast Guard in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, also describe a botched fire drill by the crew of another Shell-contracted drilling rig months before it began boring an exploratory oil well in the Chukchi Sea.
(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.  
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.
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 wins two more permits for planned Arctic drilling campaign

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The approval means Shell has just four remaining federal permits that are essential for it to resume drilling in the Chukchi Sea this summer.
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.)

Noble pleads guilty to violations involving Arctic drillship

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Noble Corp. pleaded guilty Monday to eight criminal charges tied to pollution, propulsion and record keeping problems with the two drilling rigs that bored Arctic oil wells for Shell in 2012.
Shell used the drillship Noble Discoverer for its 2012 drilling in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska.  (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Feds reveal details on Shell’s Arctic ambitions

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More details came to light Tuesday on Shell’s plans for exploratory oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska, as federal regulators released a copy of the company’s broad Arctic drilling blueprint.
(Photo courtesy of Shell Oil Co.)

Feds ask Shell for assurances on Arctic drilling

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Federal regulators scrutinizing Shell’s bid to resume Arctic drilling next summer are pressing the company for more evidence it has fixed the kind of problems that plagued its last search for black gold in the region.
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoists crew members from the Shell's mobile drilling unit Kulluk in 15- to 20-foot seas 80 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. (Photo: Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis)

Shell responds to $1.1 million Arctic pollution deal

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Shell’s troubled quest for Arctic oil in 2012 — now capped with a $1.1 million fine for environmental violations — will make the company better prepared to return to the region, a spokesman said Friday.
Shell used the drillship Noble Discoverer for its 2012 drilling in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska.  (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Shell to pay $1.1 million in fines to settle with EPA over Arctic drilling

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In a settlement with the federal government announced late Thursday, Shell Oil Co. will pay $1.1 million in fines to settle claims that it violated air pollution permits while drilling in U.S. Arctic waters last year.