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offshore drilling

Greenpeace activists held a banner that said 'The People vs. Shell' as they scaled the Polar Pioneer drill rig in the Pacific Ocean. (Photo: Greenpeace)

Environmentalists nab one big win in Arctic drilling plans

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Environmentalists howled over the Obama administration’s decision to approve Shell’s broad Arctic drilling plan, but they scored one big victory.

Coastal states launch new bid for offshore drilling dollars

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Senators from Texas, Alaska and other coastal states have launched a fresh campaign to siphon off more of the revenue that flows to the federal government from offshore drilling.
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.
OTC-Models

OTC: Feds could soon take a closer look at who is, and who isn’t, fit to operate offshore

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The nation’s offshore drilling overseers are considering adopting a page out of Norway and Brazil’s playbooks — with a potential analysis of oil and gas firms’ “fitness to operate” on coastal waters.
From the left: Charlie Williams, executive director of the Center for Offshore Safety; Brian Salerno, director of the Bureau and Safety Environmental Enforcement; and Rear Admiral Joe Servidio of the U.S. Coast Guard sit on a panel about offshore safety during the 2014 Offshore Technology Conference at NRG Park on May 8. (Patric Schneider/Houston Chronicle)

OTC: Feds launch confidential tipline for offshore problems, aiming to find small problems before they get big

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When accidents are narrowly averted at offshore oil and gas facilities, Uncle Sam wants to know about it. And now, there’s a new avenue for the government to get those tips, via a confidential near-miss reporting system unveiled at the Offshore Technology Conference on Tuesday.
From left, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Hopper and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory discuss federal regulations, drilling and seismic studies at the Offshore Technology Conference.

Gov. Pat McCrory at OTC: Drilling dollars essential to sell offshore exploration along East Coast

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For coastal states to support offshore drilling near their shores, they have to glean some of the dollars tied to that activity, North Carolina’s governor told OTC.
Albert Granger, right, and Julio Palma install a structure used as living quarters that will be exhibited at the Offshore Technology Conference 2015, Friday, May 1, 2015, at NGR Center. (Marie D. De Jesus/Houston Chronicle )

Houston traffic ensnares OTC speakers

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Houston traffic — made all the more formidable by the arrival of tens of thousands of guests for the Offshore Technology Conference — delayed a session Monday morning.
A group of idle rigs is seen behind James Noe, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Hercules Offshore while aboard the Hercules 251 a shallow water drilling rig owned by on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010, near Port Fourchon, La. (Smiley N. Pool /Chronicle)

Hercules Offshore has cut 40 percent of workforce amid low oil

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The CEO of rig contractor Hercules Offshore says the firm’s global workforce has been cut by nearly 40 percent this year as it wrestles with sunken oil prices. It had 1,800 employees at the end of 2014.
Shell used the drillship Noble Discoverer for its 2012 drilling in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska.  (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Drilling in the Arctic could be more difficult, and costly, than Shell is letting on, environmentalists tell SEC

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A petition filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission represents a novel bid by Arctic drilling foes to highlight the risks of the activity — going beyond potential environmental perils to the financial factors that might be more persuasive to shareholders.
(Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg)

Shell exec: U.S. risks losing drilling dollars to Brazil, Canada and Mexico

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The Obama administration’s plan for selling offshore oil and gas leases from 2017 to 2022 could jeopardize the United States’ competitiveness as Brazil, Canada, Mexico and other countries aggressively compete for drilling dollars, a Shell executive told Congress.