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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.
Shell temporarily halted exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean as the weather worsened on Thursday.
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 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.
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.
An emergency containment system was being tested in waters near Washington state on Tuesday, while those drilling permit reviews are under way.
Tugboats are pulling a Shell-contracted Arctic drilling rig around protesters in Puget Sound, as the Polar Pioneer begins its long trek to Alaska.
The approval means Shell has just four remaining federal permits that are essential for it to resume drilling in the Chukchi Sea this summer.