Shell moved Thursday to deepen its relationship with Alaska natives who live near the company’s Arctic oil wells, signing a deal that gives them royalties from some of the projects an option to buy into them later.
Scientific research has been central to Shell’s now-stalled move into Alaskan Arctic waters, and regulators probably will expect more if Shell resumes its work there, a company scientist told a Houston audience Monday.
A massive campaign to free a grounded Arctic drilling rig that employed more than a dozen ships and some 730 people cleared a big hurdle Monday, as salvagers pulled the vessel to safe harbor in Alaska.
Salvagers are preparing to try pulling Shell’s grounded Arctic drilling rig from a rocky Alaskan island’s coast as soon as critical equipment arrives on the scene and weather permits _ possibly before the weekend’s end.
The grounding of Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig amid a fierce storm in the Gulf of Alaska raised the specter of a fuel spill in the region and provided fresh fodder to drilling foes who insist Arctic oil exploration is too risky to allow. The episode also cast doubt on whether Shell Oil Co. will be able to resume its hunt for Arctic oil this year.
Shell began boring its first well in the Chukchi Sea in more than two decades on Sunday, kicking off what company executives anticipate will be years of work tapping prospects throughout U.S. Arctic waters.
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