Arctic lease decision could mean summer drilling for Shell

A crucial week for Shell. And things to happen in Seattle apparently.

arrggghhh! one needs to be a subscriber to the Houston Chronicle now to read their online articles.

Rob or Mike…can you guys post the content online for us?

Fuelfix.com

I checked and both Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Journal of Commerce also have stories today. Both say that DoI plan to approve the permits to drill this summer but there will be court challenges as well so we could be right back to Federal 9th Circuit Court being the decider if this will happen or not?

found this at Maritime Executive

[B]Shell Arctic Drilling to get Government Approval[/B]

By MarEx 2015-03-24 16:41:08

Shell could restart oil drilling in the Arctic once it gets the go-ahead from the U.S. government, which could happen this week. The decision to allow the oil company access has been controversial among environmentalists groups as well as local communities that could be affected by the drilling.

The U.S. Interior Department was obligated to revisit its decision-making process after last year’s U.S. federal court ruling in a case brought by environmental groups. The groups claimed that mistakes had been made in the assessment of risks that could arise from the project. However, despite findings from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) that stated there is a 75-percent chance an oil spill could occur in the area, BOEM has stood behind the continuation of the Arctic drilling and gave approval to the Interior Department to back the project. Sally Jewell, the interior secretary, will make a formal statement on the decision to restart drilling as soon as Wednesday.

Shell wants to begin drilling in the Arctic after its setbacks from the $5 billion exploration program that was supposed to begin again in 2014. Shell was forced to terminate its Arctic operations in 2012 when a key piece of safety equipment used to combat oil spills failed.

The Kulluk, which was the oil rig being used in the exploration, ran aground during its tow back to port. These setbacks along with other legal challenges prevented the company from drilling the Arctic 2013 and 2014.

Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden expressed that Shell has maintained significant capability, which should allow it to continue drilling in the Arctic. He also said it has met the safety standards established by regulators.

In Seattle, the lease of Terminal 5 in the Port of Seattle to Foss Maritime, which will handle the rigs and equipment, caused an outcry by the city council including mayor Ed Murray. They say that the 40-story rig will be an eyesore for the community.

But the port says they will follow city-issued permit terms, and both the Port and Shell are following strict EPA regulations. They have also said that Arctic drilling will create 500 to 700 new jobs and the lease will generate $13 million for the port, which will aslo benefit the state of Washington.

It is interesting this article was written exactly 26 years after the grounding of the Exxon Valdez, the residue of this spill is still affecting the livelihoods of the local people and wildlife. In the Aviation and Maritime industries approximately 80 percent of incidents and accidents were caused by organization and/or human error.
Personally, I do not believe any risk assessment can take into account all the ignorant or stupid actions of humans and organizations. Also, I do not believe Royal Dutch Shell have enough money to cleanup any oil spill they create in the Arctic Ocean and it will fall back onto the American taxpayer.

Drill baby drill.

Last month I spoke with a guy who works on a rig contracted with Shell for this project. He strongly believed that a permit would be issued for this upcoming season.

[QUOTE=Kougar018;157670]Last month I spoke with a guy who works on a rig contracted with Shell for this project. He strongly believed that a permit would be issued for this upcoming season.[/QUOTE]

The semi-submersible rig that they are going to use has been loaded on a Dockwise ship and its on the way.

I truly hope they let the Discoverer drill this year. Those hands who have been there all these years deserve the opportunity to show what they can do, they have earned it tenfold. Bitch all you want about Shell or Noble, it’s the guys who have not been able to do what it is they do all these years and their only options were to hang in there or quit and try to find something else. They are the professionals who can do it and I wish you guys the best of luck. Your patience alone shows the type of men you are and I look forward to being able to applaud you for your accomplishments, would love to have been there to witness first hand

I wish them the best luck. I sincerely hope the Shell. Noble. ECO and Harvey have fantastic luck.

[QUOTE=The Commodore;157708]I truly hope they let the Discoverer drill this year. Those hands who have been there all these years deserve the opportunity to show what they can do, they have earned it tenfold.[/QUOTE]

maybe now they even know how to stand a proper anchor watch in Dutch Harbor?

but we’ll just have to wait and see now, won’t we?

First test will be a safe transit without mishaps across the Pacific to Seattle. Probably easier for the rig on the huge HLV than for the Discoverer.

[QUOTE=Drill Bill;157744]First test will be a safe transit without mishaps across the Pacific to Seattle. Probably easier for the rig on the huge HLV than for the Discoverer.[/QUOTE]

yes, let’s see if they can manage to get anywhere now without the engine exploding sending flames and shrapnel flying for miles…

think I read they sponsoned it and repowered it

[QUOTE=rshrew;157761]think I read they sponsoned it and repowered it[/QUOTE]

aw, you’re no fun anymore…

[QUOTE=rshrew;157761]think I read they sponsoned it and repowered it[/QUOTE] Is Western getting in on the game this time?

most likely not this year everything is already committed to other projects so far busy busy summer ahead in the PNW & Alaska.

While reviewing Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, Alaska OCS Region; 201410; Chukchi Sea Planning Area, Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193, In the Chukchi Sea, Alaska; Available online at
http://www.boem.gov/uploadedFiles/BOEM/About_BOEM/BOEM_Regions/Alaska_Region/Leasing_and_Plans/Leasing/Lease_Sales/Sale_193/Lease_Sale_193_DraftSSEIS_vol1.pdf

Their assumptions used in determining the environmental consequences of Lease Sale 193 are:

"4.1. Assumptions for Effects Assessment
BOEM created an exploration, development and production scenario (“the Scenario”) to provide a basis for the environmental effects analysis in this chapter. This Scenario represents the highest level of oil and gas activities that could reasonably result from Lease Sale 193. A summary of the Scenario, along with the assumptions and process used to create the Scenario, is provided in Chapter 2. A description of the methodology used to develop the Scenario along with a full schedule of activities is available in Appendix B."
The Scenario assumes that current lessees will explore their leases, successfully discover an anchor field as well as a satellite field, develop necessary infrastructure, and produce approximately 4.3 Bbbl of oil and 2.2 Tcf of natural gas from the leases issued from Lease Sale 193. The Scenario describes these activities as occurring over a period of 77 years (which includes decommissioning). Impacts from exploration, development and production from potential future lease sales in the Chukchi Sea are considered.
[B]The most likely result of Lease Sale 193 is the limited and unsuccessful exploration of leases, and nothing more. An “exploration-only” result is consistent with historical trends for the Chukchi Sea OCS as well as the majority of the economic simulations conducted by BOEM.[/B] The larger Scenario is, however, a possible outcome (assuming subsequent exploration plan and development and production plan approvals). The environmental impacts analyses provided in this Chapter are predicated on the unlikely assumption that all of the oil and gas activities described in this Scenario will in fact occur.

My concern is that offshore exploration drilling is the most riskiest operation in oil & gas development operations in most fragile of environments which is currently pristine. So it appears to me if the government decides to approves the drilling this summer, they are accepting the risk even though it is highly unlikely that America will benefit from taking this risk. It is my opinion, that Shell is just trying to bolster their currently overstated proven reserves and do not plan to further developed.

how do you clean up an oil spill in ice?
Not noticed that in any MARPOL manuals I have ever read.