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offshore drilling

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.
A drilling rig under contract to Shell arrives in Port Angeles, Washington en route to Alaska's Chukchi Sea, where Shell hopes to drill this summer. (Daniella Beccaria/seattlepi.com via AP, File) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; SEATTLE TIMES OUT; TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

Senate bill would give oil companies a decade more to drill in Arctic

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Oil companies could get 10 more years to drill on their Arctic leases, under a provision in a broader offshore drilling bill advancing in the Senate.
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns after an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

New offshore safety rules would make drilling some wells too difficult, industry lobbyists tell White House

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More than a dozen oil companies and drilling contractors joined leading industry trade groups in pushing back against proposed federal mandates for offshore wells they say would make some impossible to drill. The proposed requirements were spurred by the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Chevron's massive deep water offshore platform heads to the Gulf of Mexico. The project was slated to start production this year, but that's been delayed after several subsea installation tendons sustained damage. (Chevron)

Liberal group says White House should use Gulf of Mexico auction to secure parks spending

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Preserving the 50-year-old Land and Water Conservation Fund that pays for parks and public spaces requires a “bold fight” by the Obama administration, the Center for American Progress argues. The program, which is mostly funded by offshore oil and gas revenue, is set to expire in September.
Protesters in kayaks paddle out to meet the Arctic offshore oil rig Polar Pioneer piggybacked atop the cargo deck vessel Blue Marlin as it arrives at Port Angeles, Wash., on  April 17.  (Keith Thorpe/The Peninsula Daily News via AP)

Pew survey: Most young Americans oppose offshore drilling, nuclear power

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There are dramatic generation gaps in opinions on global warming, offshore drilling, nuclear power, childhood vaccines, gene modification to reduce a baby’s disease risk, untested medicine use, lab tests on animals, and evolution, according to the Pew Research Center.
(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.
Shell used the drillship Noble Discoverer for its 2012 drilling in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska.  (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Shell’s Arctic drillship heads to Alaska

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The trip moves Shell physically closer to resuming exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean next month, even though the company is still seeking four essential federal approvals to launch the work.
The Polar Pioneer, a drilling rig contracted by Shell for Chukchi Sea exploration in 2015, is transported across the Pacific on the heavy-lift vessel Blue Marlin. (Photo: Vincenzo Floramo / Greenpeace)

Sea ice could keep Shell away from the Arctic until mid July

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Even if Shell wins all federal permits to drill in the Chukchi Sea this summer, sea ice could block it from launching the work until late July.
(AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Oil industry launches 2016 campaign

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The American Petroleum Institute launched its “Vote 4 Energy” with a pledge to stay above the partisan fray while ensuring that energy policy is part of the political discussion leading up to the November 2016 elections.
Blue Planet: Seas of Life premieres Sunday Jan. 27 on the Discovery Channel.    HOUCHRON CAPTION  (01/24/2002):  Scarred beluga whales are caught in a small hole in the ice in the Arctic on Blue Planet. Twenty miles of ice lies between the whales and the open ocean, so they must use the hole to breathe for two months. The scars are from polar bears attacking the whales as they surface for air every 20 minutes.

Shell nabs critical animal disturbance permit for Arctic drilling venture

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The incidental harassment authorization, issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, further lowers the number of federal permits Shell Oil Co. must win before it is able to resume exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean.