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Northstar Island, an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, is a site of oil and gas drilling. (U.S. Department of the Interior)

Company plans gravel island to extract Arctic offshore oil

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Hilcorp’s plan for a 23-acre gravel island, about the size of 17.4 football fields, has drawn mixed reviews from conservationists and outright condemnation from environmentalists who believe the oil should stay in the ground.
(Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Obama administration closes off two avenues for new Arctic drilling

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The Interior Department announced it was canceling government auctions of drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, previously scheduled for 2016 and 2017 respectively. At the same time, it formally rejected bids by Statoil and Shell for more time to search for crude under their existing Arctic leases.
(Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Obama administration gives OK to Shell to drill deeper in Arctic

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Shell has already been drilling the well for more than two weeks. But BSEE had ordered the company to halt after completing the top 3,000 feet, because critical emergency equipment were not nearby to safeguard the work.
This June 15, 2015 file photo shows kayakers trying to block the departure of the Shell Oil Polar Pioneer rig platform as it moved from Elliott Bay in Seattle, Washington.  (Tim Exton/AFP/Getty Images)

Green groups: Arctic drilling ‘inconsistent’ with Obama’s climate change crusade

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Arctic drilling is “inconsistent” with efforts to stay within a global carbon budget, environmentalists warn in a new report.
(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.