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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)

Even as it walks away from Arctic drilling, Shell keeps door open for future work

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The company says it’s walking away from oil exploration in U.S. Arctic waters for the “foreseeable future,” but it’s keeping its options open.
(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.
This  April 17, 2015 file photo, with the Olympic Mountains in the background, a small boat crosses in front of an oil drilling rig as it arrives in Port Angeles, Wash., aboard a transport ship after traveling across the Pacific.  (Daniella Beccaria/seattlepi.com via AP, File)

Shell’s aggressive bidding after reserves scandal plotted path to Arctic disappointment

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Shell’s aggressive bidding for drilling rights in the Chukchi Sea in 2008 put the company on a trajectory that ended with its $7 billion bust in the Arctic Ocean.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Senators ask SEC to probe oil companies’ risk disclosure

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A dozen Democrats insist oil companies aren’t telling shareholders the gritty reality of their crude pursuits, including the environmental and financial risks of drilling in the Arctic Ocean and other frontier areas.
(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.
(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.
(Marcus Bengtsson/Creative Commons)

Environmentalists insist feds must block Shell’s Arctic drilling while icebreaker is away

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Shell is counting on the Fennica to keep ice at bay during normal drilling operations as well as any oil spill response, noted 10 environmental groups in a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
The MSV Fennica (Tom Doyle/Flickr)

Damaged Arctic icebreaker’s route questioned

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Newly analyzed marine tracking data shows a Shell-contracted icebreaker may have crossed through shallow waters that offered it little clearance.
(Getty Images)

Environmentalists: Feds should shelve Shell’s Arctic plans because of walrus rules

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In a four-page letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, 10 environmental groups delivered their strongest argument yet that Shell’s exploration plan is invalid and the Interior Department would violate federal law if it issued drilling permits for Shell’s planned wells in the Chukchi Sea.
(AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey, S.A. Sonsthagen)

Obama administration delivers big blow to Shell’s Arctic drilling plans

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The Fish and Wildlife Service said it could not authorize sound from Shell’s planned drilling of wells roughly nine miles apart to disturb walruses in the Chukchi Sea, because a 2013 requirement mandates a 15-mile buffer zone.