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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.
An activist hangs from the St. Johns bridge in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, July 29, 2015, to protest  the departure of Royal Dutch Shell PLC icebreaker Fennica, which is in Portland for repairs.  The icebreaker is a vital part of Shell's exploration and spill-response plan off Alaska's northwest coast.  Greenpeace officials say  the activists have enough water and food to last for days, and can hoist themselves to allow other marine traffic to pass. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

U.S. judge rules Greenpeace in contempt for Oregon protest

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There was no sign that the protesters were about to leave Portland after the ruling in Anchorage by U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason that Greenpeace is in civil contempt.
(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)

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.
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 capping stack -- part of Shell's "Arctic Containment System" for a blown-out well -- is tested in waters near Washington state. Here, it is lifted by an A-frame before being lowered 150 feet into the water. (Photo: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Feds say Shell completed test for blown-out well response ahead of Arctic drilling

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The exercises, conducted Tuesday and Wednesday in waters near Washington state, focused on Shell’s capping stack, designed to sit atop a damaged well and choke off flowing oil and gas.
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.
With the Olympic Mountains in the background, the Polar Pioneer drilling rig arrives in Port Angeles, Wash., aboard a heavy-lift transport ship in April. Shell Oil Co. hopes to use the rig for exploratory drilling during the summer open-water season in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast, if it can get the permits. (Daniella Beccaria/seattlepi.com via AP, File)

Obama administration gives thumbs up to Shell’s Arctic drilling plans

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Shell moved one step closer to resuming its $6 billion quest for crude in the Arctic on Monday, with the Obama administration’s approval of its broad plan for exploratory oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska.
With the Olympic Mountains in the background, the Polar Pioneer drilling unit  arrives in Port Angeles, Wash., aboard a heavy-lift transport ship. Shell hopes to use the rig for exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast. (Daniella Beccaria/seattlepi.com via AP)

Judge orders Greenpeace to stay away from drill ships

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U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason on Friday also prohibited Greenpeace from flying unmanned vehicles over the offshore Arctic area where Shell plans to drill.