Shell has cleared its last regulatory hurdle before beginning drilling in the Arctic. And while that fact has ticked off environmental groups, Shell did not end up receiving the free pass it had been hoping for … at least, not yet. From FuelFix:
Under the limited Interior Department drilling permits, Shell can only focus on one well at a time, and it cannot penetrate potential oil- and gas-bearing zones some 8,000 feet underground, at least until a damaged company-contracted icebreaker returns from repairs in Oregon.
That ship, the MSV Fennica, is meant to keep ice from encroaching on Shell’s drilling operations and is designed to install critical equipment on top of a damaged well in an emergency.
Shell had hoped to exploit multiple wells at the same time during the short July-to-September window when drilling is viable in the Arctic. It had also hoped to drill multiple wells…
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