Tag Archives: shell oil

Victory! With 2 ships damaged, Shell suspends Arctic drilling

By John M. Broder, February 27, 3013. Source: The New York Times

The drill ship Kulluk in January in Kiliuda Bay, Alaska, where it was towed after it ran aground.  Photo: James Brooks/Kodiak Daily Mirror, via Associated Press

The drill ship Kulluk in January in Kiliuda Bay, Alaska, where it was towed after it ran aground. Photo: James Brooks/Kodiak Daily Mirror, via Associated Press

WASHINGTON — After a series of costly and embarrassing accidents in its efforts to drill exploratory wells off the north coast of Alaska last year, Royal Dutch Shell announced on Wednesday that it would not return to the Arctic in 2013.

The company’s two drill ships suffered serious accidents as they were leaving drilling sites in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas last fall and winter and are being sent to Asia for repairs. Shell acknowledged in a statement that the ships would not be repaired in time to drill during the short summer window this year.

“Our decision to pause in 2013 will give us time to ensure the readiness of all our equipment and people,” said Marvin E. Odum, president of Shell Oil Company. Continue reading

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Oceans, Oil, Victory!

Will Shell’s grounded drilling rig impact US energy policy in Arctic?

By Alex DeMarban and Suzanna Caldwell, January 2, 2013.  Source: Alaska Dispatch

Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg/U.S. Coast Guard

Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg/U.S. Coast Guard

As Royal Dutch Shell struggled Tuesday to salvage a fuel-laden drilling ship grounded on a remote Alaska island, the incident reverberated thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C., with President Barack Obama’s staff monitoring the situation.

In a high-stakes gamble to tap billions of barrels of oil in Alaska’s Arctic, all eyes are now on Shell as it tries to gain control of an out-of-control drilling rig that grounded New Year’s Eve on the rocky shores of Sitkalidak Island, located near southeastern Kodiak Island.

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Paul Mehler, who was heading up the response for his agency, said the drilling ship Kulluk appeared sound as of Tuesday afternoon, with no breaches to its hull. The rig’s fuel tanks, for generators and other pieces of equipment, are holding 143,000 gallons of diesel, and there are no signs of any spills, he said.

A White House source said that Obama’s staff was aware of the situation and was monitoring it on New Year’s Day, highlighting the national implications of Shell’s mishap and what it might mean for U.S. energy.
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Shell Chemical equipment failure causes flame and flares in St. Charles

By Juliet Linderman, December 3, 2012.  Source: The Times-Picayune

Photo: Diya Chacko/nola.com

Photo: Diya Chacko/nola.com

For more than 30 hours, Shell Chemical, located on the Motiva Enterprises campus in Norco, has been experiencing elevated flares, shooting flames and leaking thick black smoke into the air above St. Charles Parish. According to a report submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center, the plant is releasing unknown amounts of hydrogen sulfide, butadiene and benzene, a known carcinogen.

Shell Chemical reported the incident to the NRC at approximately 8 am on Sunday, Dec. 2, citing no deaths or injuries associated with the accident.

According to Department of Environmental Quality Press Secretary Rodney Mallet, an unknown unit within the plant sustained damages, and Motiva has opted to send the chemicals typically routed to the damaged unit to a flare to be burned, rather than shutting the unit down altogether and rebooting it. The quantity of chemicals being funneled to the flare, as well as anticipated emissions, are unknown at this time. Neither DEQ nor NRC has specified whether the material is coming from Shell Chemical or Motiva.
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The Inuit sitting on billions of barrels of oil

By May Abdalla, November 29 2012. Source: BBC News

Photo: BBC

After a decade of legal wrangling and spending $4.5bn (£2.8bn), this year Shell Oil was given permission to begin exploratory drilling off the coast of Alaska. But many in the local Inuit community are concerned it could have a devastating impact on one of their main sources of food – the bowhead whale.

Marie Casados shows me the contents on her freezer. Inside there’s whale meat, muktuk – frozen whale skin and blubber – a selection of fish and a polar bear foot, which looks like a human hand. She describes it as a real delicacy. But it’s more than that – this is her food supply for the winter.

Fishing and hunting are central to the Inupiat way of life – archaeologists have found evidence of humans hunting whales in the area dating back to as early as 800BC.

“We are the oldest continuous inhabitants of North America,” says Point Hope’s Mayor Steve Oomituk. “We’ve been here thousands of years.” Continue reading

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Protesting fracking in support of local farms

Note: The following action occurred after a weekend long direct action training hosted by our allies with the Shadbush Environmental Justice Collective.  Shadbush works to confront the root causes of climate change as they manifest themselves in the Pittsburgh, PA region.

-The GJEP Team

November 13, 2012.  Source: Shadbush Environmental Justice Collective

On Nov. 12, more than thirty people gathered in front of afracking well site operated by Shell Oil to protest the impacts drilling is having on farmers in Pennsylvania. The well pad is 4,000 feet from Maggie Henry’s farm near New Castle, Pa.

Henry raises organic eggs, poultry and pork, and she fears that unconventional gas drilling will contaminate her well water and force her out of business. The gas well and the Henry farm lie in an area littered with hundreds of abandoned and unplugged oil wells, which could create a pathway through which gas and fluids from the fracking process can migrate into aquifers.

Those who came out to support Henry’s struggle to protect her farm included Butler County residents concerned about the impacts of drilling on their land and the health of their families, as well as Pittsburghers concerned about air and water quality, and the safety of local food, including some who shop at the Strip District market where Maggie sells farm products. People from shale-impacted areas across Pennsylvania and beyond were also present to show solidarity across the region.

Demonstrators arrived at the well site to find a heavy police and private security presence, with state troopers on the well site mingling with workers, blocking the entrance to the site, cruising the nearby roads and parked in a nearby church. A police helicopter also circled the area.
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Shell blocks employee access to activist website

By Mary, October 2, 2012.  Source: Yes Lab

Photo: taylormarsh.com

Houston, TX (October 2, 2012) — Early Monday morning, 71,010 Shell employees received an email from the company’s “Grassroots Employee Empowerment Division” providing information on Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, a pivotal human rights case being argued in the U.S. Supreme Court. The email contained links to news stories, as well as a tool to help employees tweet their feelings about the case at key US news anchors (and Oprah Winfrey).

The only thing is, Shell has no “Grassroots Employee Empowerment Division,” and they don’t want publicity for the case. The email was in fact the work of an activist group called People Against Legalizing Murder (PALM), who received the list of Shell emails from what they believe to be a group of disaffected employees. (A similar leak occurred two years ago.)

Within minutes of the email being sent out, Shell internally blocked the site, preventing employees from accessing it. “I would love to participate, but access is denied to all links you sent out,” wrote one employee among many. The 71,010 employees were informed this morning of the situation and the site’s new URL.

PALM intended the action to help shine a spotlight on the case, brought by the widow of Dr. Barinem Kiobel, who was hanged along with novelist Ken Saro-Wiwa for opposition to Shell’s drilling plans in West Africa. Shell is alleged to have aided paramilitary forces that raided more than 60 villages, killed over 800 people, and displaced 30,000 more.

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Video: Oil and ice don’t mix – the risks of drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean

Note: It only takes six minutes to demonstrate the insanity of drilling in Arctic waters…

By Kiley Kroh and Michael Conathan, August 20, 2012. Source: Center for American Progress


As the decision looms whether to allow Shell Oil to begin exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean this summer, the Center for American Progress released a new video today examining our lack of preparedness to respond to an oil spill in the remote and untested region.  Whether the Department of the Interior approves offshore drilling activity in the Arctic Ocean this year or next, the Arctic is still dangerously deficient in infrastructure and scientific knowledge. In “Oil and Ice: The Risks of Drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean,” U.S. Coast Guard Captain Gregory Saniel, Chief of Response says the thought of mustering a response to a major incident like an oil spill “keeps me up at night.”

As Shell waits for heavy sea ice to clear and the Coast Guard to certify its containment barge, the fact remains that this region has far fewer resources to contain an oil spill than did the Gulf of Mexico. Even with the Gulf’s warm water and weather, large population centers, and decades of research and drilling experience, oil flowed unabated for three months in 2010, wreaking economic havoc and devastating the environment. If drilling in the Arctic starts next year, these fundamental infrastructure challenges still must be addressed.  This video highlights the perspectives of those who depend on the Arctic Ocean for their livelihood, the concerns and challenges facing the Coast Guard charged with its protection, and the grave doubts of the scientific community about the lack of knowledge in this area.

Kiley Kroh is the Associate Director for  Ocean Communications and Michael Conathan is the Director of Ocean Policy at the Center for American Progress.

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