Arctic Oil News

Image: NERC

Barclays Rejects Arctic Drilling

for the exploration or extraction of oil and gas in the Arctic.The policy  rules out funding for companies seeking to drill in the Arctic Refuge as well as other climate change threats.According to the British multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in London, arctic oil and gas refers to new exploration and extraction of oil and gas in the area within the Arctic Circle which is subject to sea ice, and includes the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the Coastal Plains.The ANWR is a particularly fragile and pristine ecosystem which is central to the livelihoods

An artist’s depiction of LRAUV under sea ice. Using photo-chemical sensors, the robot scans the density of a billowing cloud of oil coming from an ocean floor well. The red and yellow objects are parts of a communication system consisting of antennas suspended under ice from a buoy installed on top of the ice.  Graphic by ADAC.

LRAUV: Arctic Oil-Spill-Mapping Robot Put to the Test

As commercial shipping and energy activities picks up in the Arctic region, the prospect of accidental oil spills in this pristine environment remain a concern. In response, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking the lead – through the U.S. Coast Guard – to develop a subsea robotic system to map and report on spills.“Because of ice coverage and the tyranny of distance, it is difficult to get resources and assets up in the Arctic in a quick manner,” said Kirsten Trego, Executive Director of the Coast Guard’s Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil

Norway to Spend More Looking for O&G Near Russian Border

Russia's annexation of Crimea Norwegian officials have expressed concern about Russian military exercises in the region.Norway also fears that tensions between Russia and the West could have implications for Svalbard, which belongs to Norway but has become significant because of growing interest in Arctic oil and gas..Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said last year the area bordering Russia southeast of the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, which is not yet opened up for exploration, could hold 8.6 billion barrels of oil equivalents.The Directorate, which has previously conducted 2D surveys and drilled

Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Statoil

Arctic Oil 'Undrillable' amid Global Warming -UN's Ex-climate Chief

An architect of the Paris climate agreement urged governments on Tuesday to halt oil exploration in the Arctic, saying drilling was not economical and warming threatened the environmentally fragile region.Christiana Figueres, formerly head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat when the Paris accord was reached by almost 200 nations in 2015, told Reuters by telephone "the Arctic has been rendered undrillable."The past three years have been the hottest since records began in the 19th century, and Figueres said the heat was a threat to everything from Australia's Great Barrier Reef to ice

© h368k742 / Adobe Stock

Norway's Arctic Oil Plan Violates Constitution, Lawsuit Says

Norway's plan for Arctic oil exploration is unconstitutional because it violates the right to a healthy environment, a lawyer for Greenpeace and the Nature and Youth environmental group told an Oslo court on Tuesday. The case is the first of its kind in Norway and says a 2015 oil licensing round in the Arctic that gave awards to Statoil , Chevron and others violates the constitution. Norway signed the 2016 Paris accord, which aims to end the fossil fuel era this century. The country is Western Europe's largest oil producer and oil and gas are its most important exports. Government lawyers say

Image: © Nightman1965/Adobe Stock

Arctic Oil Expansion Panned by Scientists

A group of 37 U.S.-based scientists whose research focuses on Arctic wildlife asked two U.S. senators in a letter on Thursday not to open the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, according to a copy seen by Reuters.   The scientists, including several retired former officials from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, said in a letter to Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington that drilling for oil and gas in the refuge would be "incompatible with the purposes

(Credit: U.S. Coast Guard)

'Roomba' in the Arctic

R&D continues, focusing on improving the ice cutting functionality.  He said the data collected during the Arctic tests is invaluable for further development. Without saying when, Bennett predicted that “the system, with a few minor adjustments, will be ready for market with regards to arctic oil spill response as the standard RotoX is already on the market.”   Today, as in the post-Exxon Valdez and post-Macondo eras, there is a heightened state of awareness about environmental contamination in the undisturbed Arctic. This new awareness has propelled a quicker pace of research

ICEHORSE Submersible Skimmer recovering oil during prototype testing at BSEE’s Ohmsett Facility. This BSEE-funded research project is part of an effort to improve oil recovery in icy Arctic waters. (Photo: BSEE)

Partners Advance Arctic Oil Spill Response Technology

Continually working to help improve oil spill response technologies, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) presented details on its latest efforts at the Arctic Oil Spill Response Research and Technology Workshop on April 26.   There, Bureau staff presented results of several BSEE-funded projects including the development of a submersible skimmer prototype for oil recovery in and around broken ice.   “At the workshop, we all worked together to collectively understand the suite of response technology possibilities that are available today as well as

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Obama Bans New Drilling off Alaska, Part of Atlantic Shore

that both our countries have put in place, the risks of an oil spill in this region are significant and our ability to clean up from a spill in the region's harsh conditions is limited."   Canada will designate all Arctic Canadian waters as indefinitely off limits to future offshore Arctic oil and gas licensing, to be reviewed every five years through a climate and marine science-based life-cycle assessment.   The law under which Obama is acting enables a president to withdraw certain areas from leasing or drilling "for any public purpose," such as to limit the impacts

(R-L) Captain Chris Hearn, Director, Center for Marine Simulation and Maria Halfyard, Manager, Applied Research and Industrial Projects  in the Offshore Operations Simulator which is outfitted with a DP system (controller is on the left) (Photo: National Research Council of Canada)

Station-Keeping In Ice

in St. John’s completed its Arctic Development Roadmap in 2012. The purpose of the Roadmap was “to identify, organize and prioritize key research and development issues that need to be addressed to fill gaps in the knowledge, technology, methodology and training associated with offshore Arctic oil and gas development.”   The oil and gas companies that were consulted for the CARD Roadmap included Exxon Mobil, Suncor, Husky Energy, Statoil, Chevron, Imperial Oil, Shell and Conoco Phillips. Among the needs that were identified as high priority was station-keeping in ice using either

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Hundreds of Scientists Urge Obama to Halt Arctic Oil Drilling

 Nearly 400 scientists from more than a dozen countries signed a letter urging U.S. President Barack Obama to take the Arctic Ocean out of the next federal offshore lease sale plan, thus ruling out the possibility of offshore drilling in the Arctic in the near future.   Scientists from 13 countries have signed the letter saying global warming will be accelerated by burning oil found in the Arctic Ocean.    “No new oil and gas leasing or exploration should be allowed in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas in the foreseeable future,” the scientists said.    The

Image: An oil drilling rig operated by Royal Dutch Shell ran aground on a pristine wildlife-rich island in Alaska in 2013. Credit: Panda.Org

Arctic Oil Drilling: Why Does U.S. End It?

steps to keep drill rigs out of Alaska's northern ocean for a decade or more. The sudden of turnabouts is attributed to slowing down of economy. The U.S. Department of Interior announced that it is canceling two lease sales and will not extend current leases for companies interested in drilling in the Arctic waters off the Alaska coat.   "The federal government is cancelling federal petroleum lease sales in US Arctic waters that were scheduled for 2016 and 2017," said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. This happened three weeks after Royal Dutch Shell announced it was walking away from

Photo: Eni

ENI to Produce from Arctic Oilfield off Norway in a Few Weeks

Italian energy group ENI plans to start oil production from Norway's first Arctic oil development in a few weeks after years of delays and cost overruns.   Production from the Goliat field, estimated to hold about 174 million barrels of oil, was originally expected to start in 2013, and the latest deadline was the end of this summer.   "We had some delays due to bad weather, but we are planning to start the production in a few weeks," said Andreas Wulff, the spokesman for ENI in Norway.   When the field comes on stream, it would become the world's northernmost producing

Fennica (Photo: Arctia Shipping)

US: Shell is Not Yet Allowed to Drill in Arctic Oil Zone

The U.S. Interior Department on Wednesday granted Royal Dutch Shell two final permits to explore for crude in the Arctic this summer, but said the company cannot drill into the oil zone until required emergency equipment arrives in the region.   The department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) conditionally granted Shell permits for exploration in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, in a season which sea ice limits from July until October.   But Shell must have emergency equipment to contain a potential blown-out well deployable within 24 hours before drilling into the

Photo: BSEE

BSEE Oversees Testing of Shell’s Arctic Equipment

the testing to ensure compliance with Federal safety standards for oil and gas exploration on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf.   The capping stack, used to contain the flow of oil in the event that all primary and backup blowout prevention equipment fails during drilling, is a key piece of Arctic oil exploration containment equipment and is required to be in position for all of Shell’s potential drilling activities in the Arctic.   During this week’s tests, BSEE personnel witnessed the deployment and maneuvering of the capping stack off the rear deck of the M/V Fennica to

The Arctic is estimated to hold the world's largest remaining untapped gas reserves  Photo WWF

U.S. Senators Urge Obama to Block Arctic Oil Drilling

  A group of 18 mostly Democratic U.S. senators on Friday urged the Obama administration to stop Royal Dutch Shell's preparations for oil exploration in the Arctic, saying the region has a severely limited capacity to respond to accidents. The senators, from both coasts and several Midwestern states, sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, urging her to retire Arctic leases in the Chukchi Sea. Jewell's department earlier this month conditionally approved Shell's exploration plan in the Arctic. The move means the company is likely to return to the Chukchi Sea this summer for the

Groups Seek US SEC Probe of Shell Arctic Drilling Risk Disclosures

An environmental group and a law clinic petitioned the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Royal Dutch Shell has adequately disclosed to investors the risks of oil exploration in the harsh Arctic waters, the groups said on Tuesday.   The U.S. Interior Department is mulling whether Shell can drill test wells for crude and gas off Alaska this summer. The company abandoned exploratory drilling efforts in 2012, an accident-plagued season in a region with little infrastructure for emergency response.   Oceana, an international environmental group, and the Abrams

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