As Shell Struggles With Logistics in the Arctic, the Company Asks for a Drilling Extension
Royal Dutch Shell is seeking permission to extend its Arctic drilling season as it struggles with the logistics of exploring untapped oil reserves beneath icy waters off Alaska. [Reuters]
Sea-ice cover in the Arctic Ocean reached a record low this week, dropping below the previous record set in 2007, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported on Monday. It is expected to continue diminishing for at least the next week.
Long-term disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has inspired development boosters to look to the area for new oil finds. So far, Shell has been the company with the most ambitious Arctic oil-exploration plans.
The usually ice-clogged Chukchi Sea is considered a promising but daunting frontier for oil drilling. The U.S. Department of Interior estimates the Chukchi holds over 15 million barrels of recoverable oil.
But remoteness and harsh conditions have hindered development. There have been only five wells drilled in the Chukchi, four of them by Shell, and all were abandoned.
Hurricane Isaac will continue pelting Louisiana with heavy rains today and tomorrow as it marches up the Gulf Coast, unleashing damaging 80 mile-per-hour winds and causing widespread flooding in New Orleans and other coastal cities. [USA Today]
Isaac’s high winds and rains, experts speculate, could also stir up remnant crude oil from the BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill — exposing more residents and wildlife to its potentially toxic effects. [Huffington Post]
Brent crude oil slipped below $112 per barrel on Wednesday as Hurricane Isaac, which hit land in Louisiana, left U.S. Gulf Coast oil production facilities without significant damage. [Reuters]
The remnants of Hurricane Isaac could bring welcome rain to some states in the Mississippi River valley this week, but experts say it’s unlikely to break the drought gripping the Midwest. [Associated Press]
Some of the most widely accepted climate change models suggest that, by the end of this century, more than half of all western landscapes won’t be able to support the type of vegetation that exist there now. [Summit County Citizens Voice]
Four of the largest U.S. coal producers made $20 billion of acquisitions last year to reduce their dependence on the domestic power industry. Instead those deals have added to the companies’ pain. [Bloomberg]
Drought conditions are draining a reservoir used to cool the Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant, but officials of the eastern Kansas plant say there are no worries about safety or the ability to provide electricity to customers. [The Wichita Eagle]
Australia and the European Union plan to link their “cap-and-trade” systems to create the biggest emissions trading market on the globe, energy and climate change officials announced Tuesday. [Los Angeles Times]
When the wind on Orkney is strong enough to blow the rain parallel to the pavement, the cluster of gently sloping islands becomes a green energy powerhouse. [Guardian]