News / Economy

Shell to Pay $1.1 Million for Arctic Air-Quality Violations

Ships such as Shell's Kulluk and Noble Discoverer  bring oil drilling equipment to Alaska via Seattle’s Elliott Bay, Washington state, June 27, 2012.
Ships such as Shell's Kulluk and Noble Discoverer bring oil drilling equipment to Alaska via Seattle’s Elliott Bay, Washington state, June 27, 2012.
Reuters
Shell has agreed to pay $1.1 million for air-quality violations from the vessels it used to drill two oil-exploration wells in Arctic waters off Alaska last year, federal regulators said.
 
Shell will pay the civil fines for Clean Air Act violations that were discovered during inspections of the Discoverer and Kulluk drillships, which operated in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, the Environmental Protection Agency said late on Thursday.
 
The breaches of air-quality permits that Shell needed to operate in the icy waters were among several mishaps for the oil giant as it sought to explore in the remote but potentially petroleum-rich Arctic outer continental shelf.
 
First, equipment problems delayed the start of its drill season. Instead of the five wells it had planned to complete in 2012, Shell could do only preliminary drilling on two wells, a limit placed by regulators because of equipment failures on a required oil-spill vessel. The Discoverer, contracted from Noble Corp, was detained for safety and environmental problems.
 
It all culminated with the grounding of the Kulluk during a December storm near Kodiak Island. Federal investigations were launched into the grounding and the Discoverer's shortcomings, and the Department of Interior now plans to issue new rules for Arctic drilling by the end of the year.
 
The violations resolved by Shell's settlement include excessive hourly nitrogen-oxide emissions on the drillships and support vessels and lapses in use of emissions-cleansing equipment.
 
The agreement requires Shell to pay $710,000 for 23 violations that inspectors said occurred on the Discoverer and its support fleet and $390,000 for 11 violations on the Kulluk.
 
Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said the brief 2012 season had taught the company lessons about controlling air pollution.
 
And while Shell will pay fines for excessive hourly air pollution, the drilling operations produced only a tiny fraction of the total air pollution Shell would have been allowed to emit during a full year, according to the settlement agreement.
 
"Despite reported overages in 2012, the EPA did not allege any negative impact from Shell's emissions to local populations," Smith said in an email.
 
Shell has spent about $5 billion on its Alaska offshore program, including $2.1 billion in a 2008 Chukchi lease sale.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8010
JPY
USD
118.31
GBP
USD
0.6371
CAD
USD
1.1397
INR
USD
62.122

Rates may not be current.