Sen. Murkowski Welcomes Decision Allowing Shell to Start Preparatory Work in Chukchi Sea
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following comment regarding the decision by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) to allow Shell to conduct preparatory work in the Chukchi Sea this summer.
“Today’s decision is a positive step that will allow Shell to begin necessary preparatory work, while maintaining the highest environmental standards to ensure the protection of the Arctic,” Murkowski said. “While we would all like to see a discovery this summer, the most important thing is for Shell to continue to make progress and demonstrate once again that Arctic drilling can be done safely.”
Thursday’s BSEE announcement will allow Shell to build a mudline cellar and install pre-drilling infrastructure in the Chukchi Sea before the Coast Guard gives final approval of its containment vessel.
“While many environmental activists continue to cast doubt on Arctic production, we know from experience that development can be carried out safely – more than 100 wells have been drilled in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas since the 1970s,” said Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The Arctic waters off Alaska’s northern coast contain an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the federal government.