Bruce Buls could not have made a clearer and more truthful statement concerning Shell’s arctic clown circus that he does in this piece!
Bruce Buls October 28, 2014
According to an article in Bloomberg News yesterday, Royal Dutch Shell wants the Obama administration to add five years to the company’s 10-year leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, some of which expire in 2015. In a July 10 letter from Shell’s Alaska office to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which was obtained by Oceana, an environmental group with offices in Juneau, Alaska, as part of a Freedom of Information Act request, Shell laid out the factors supporting its request.
These constraining factors include: multiple time-consuming federal court and administrative challenges, appeals, and remands, based upon findings that the government had failed adequately to carry out its legal obligations; BSEE’s unexpected and unprecedented determination to introduce a fixed operational time constraint on drilling into a prospective reservoir zone, specifically the Sept. 24 cut-off; accommodation of Alaska Native whaling season in the Beaufort Sea; limited Arctic-viable and regulatory-compliant drilling rigs; and BSEE’s announced intention to develop new, comprehensive operating regulations specific to all future drilling operations on the Alaska OCS.
I suspect that Shell has legitimate grounds to ask for an extension, especially based on the legal delays, but citing “limited Arctic-viable and regulatory-compliant drilling rigs” as justification for an extension doesn’t wash. [B]Sure, these rigs are in limited supply, but Shell presumably knew that when it signed the 10-year leases. Why wasn’t Shell prepared to provide these rigs? Why didn’t it purpose-build state-of-the-art rigs and support vessels?[/B] The letter to BSEE states that “despite Shell’s best efforts and demonstrated diligence, circumstances beyond Shell’s control have prevented, and are continuing to prevent, Shell from completing even the first exploration well in either area.”
[B]The Kulluk and the Noble Discoverer represent Shell’s best efforts? That’s the best that one of the world’s richest corporations can do?[/B]
Drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic will happen one day because the reserves are just too large to keep on ice forever, but it must be done with the best equipment and under the strictest conditions. Shell may ultimately be able to recoup its $6 billion investment, but first it must take responsibility for its notable and preventable screw-ups in 2012 and demonstrate a willingness to do it right. Pointing fingers at Native whalers and whining about seasonal limitations just doesn’t cut it.
How many GODDAMNED years has Shell had to learn and do the right thing and build new rigs to work in the Arctic…they were willing to pay ECO through their ass for the AIVIQ so why the FUCK not pay somebody that same mega money to build a couple of ice rigs for them? Wait a minute, suddenly a tiny electrode in my brain is throwing sparks telling me they did and that both those turned out to be utterly worthless pigs completely incapable to work in the ice, just like the AIVIQ is a worthless huge blue whale too huge and moribund to do anything worthwhile other than hold a very large pier up in Everett! IT IS ALMOST 2015, DOES SHELL HAVE A SINGLE PERSON WHO KNOWS ONE EFFING THING ABOUT VESSELS TO WORK IN ALASKA YET?
I hear very faint calliope muzak playing…