July 16th, 2012
09:22 PM ET

Battle over Arctic oil: Environmental risk vs. Financial gain

Can the risk out weigh the gain? A Shell operated ship used for drilling in the Arctic lost its mooring and moved toward the shore of one of Alaska's islands. The Coast Guard said they were no damages to the vessel.

However, this latest incident raises concerns over the Shell Oil companies drilling plan.

CNN's Miguel Marquez goes OutFront with his 2nd story on Cold Wars: Battle Over Arctic Drilling.

Shell Oil ship slips anchor; incident raises questions about Arctic drilling plan

One of the ships that Shell Oil plans to use to drill in the Arctic slipped its mooring and drifted close to one of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, the latest in a string of incidents to arise around the controversial project.

The Noble Discoverer was about 175 yards from shore in Unalaska Bay when it slipped its mooring Saturday and drifted towards shore near Dutch Harbor, Coast Guard Petty Officer Sara Francis said.

"There are no reports of injuries, pollution and damage to the Noble Discoverer," she said Sunday night.

The incident raised concerns of a possible grounding near Dutch Harbor, though Francis said there was "no damage to the hull or evidence it ran aground."

The Noble Discoverer is one of roughly two dozen ships that Shell is sending to the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in the Arctic to drill exploration wells in the harshest climate in the world.

Pete Slaiby, the vice president of Shell Oil in Alaska, told CNN recently the drilling in the arctic would be the "most complex, most difficult wells we've drilled in company history."


Recommended: Cold Wars: Battle for Arctic Oil

Filed under: News • OutFront Exclusive
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Joseph Johnson

    You guys are doing a piece about Shell and the safety issue. Why don't you check out how well Shell does things and thier knowledge. Search Tioga PA. Well names. Guindon 706, Cochran 705, and Yaggie 704. If they know so much of how to do things then how did this happen, and is still taking place here in PA. Granted this is dealing with natural gas and not oil. However, it is the same company and it does show that even with Shell the environment is at risk.

    July 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  2. Suzan Mullane

    As an Alaskan, I do not understand why there has been so much effort to preserve ANWR and hardly any hard discussions on protecting our seas from preservationist organizations. It would be far less catastrophic to open "ANWAR" then to drill in our icy Arctic waters. Containment issues of oil disasters in open seas with ice are far more problematic-they're systemic. Consider our indigenous cultures. Perhaps the politicization of drilling needs to actually rest on science. Truth? ANWR has been a huge cash cow for the World Wildlife Fund and the like. I'm not against these organizations but their photos of ANWR have been most deceiving. Photos resembling gorgeous scenery and mountain peeks are several hundred miles away from proposed drilling sights. Incidentally, Caribou have been living comfortably near the pipeline for decades. How comfortable will our migrating whales be in polluted seas? Let's keep them honest CNN.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply

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