Archive for the ‘Chukchi Sea’ Tag

Absolutely Stupid!   2 comments

Shell is suspending exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea. Bad news for Alaska, bad news for the country.

At stake is around 26.6 billion barrels of oil. For perspective, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline has transported 16 billion barrels to Valdez over its 35 year history. Since the US Geological Survey likely underestimated the oil reserve, we’re talking something around two to two-and-half times the amount of oil that the TAPS has transported so far from Prudhoe Bay.

Shell had an excellent window of opportunity for drilling in 2011, but the EPA held them up over air quality concerns. All the permits were in place, but an environmental group filed a protest over air quality in a village nearly 50 miles from the drill site — a village where most of the residents were hoping to get jobs on the drill rig. For those unfamiliar with the Alaskan North Slope — it’s really WINDY there. Air quality is very rarely an issue. But, the protest delayed the exploratory drilling by a year and forced Shell to substitute the Kullak in order to meet the air quality standard required. It’s a stupid drill rig. It’s round. Completely unsuited for Alaskan maritime conditions. It couldn’t handle the ice in the spring and it couldn’t handle the heavy seas in the fall.

So now there’s 30 billion barrels of oil stranded in the Chukchi Sea and the environmentalists want it to stay that way.


And people wonder why Alaska keeps circling back to the secession discussion. Really? You don’t know why we’re thinking that way? Amazing!

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