Skip to main Content

Shell must do more testing before drilling for oil in Alaska's Arctic

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published June 15, 2012

To satisfy the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Royal Dutch Shell is being asked undergo further testing before the company is allowed to begin explatory drilling for oil in Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

The tests, to be administered by the U.S. Coast Guard and BSEE, are intended to examine the safety equipment designed to stop the flow of oil in the event of an oil well blowout, according to

BSEE directory James Watson said the examinations will take place in the coming weeks, but he didn't say when specifically. He added that the test results must be acceptable before any offshore drilling activities can take place off the shores of Alaska.

Shell still must receive 35 more permits before the company is given the green light to drill. If permitting allows, Shell anticipates it will begin exploration off of Alaska's Arctic coast sometime later this summer.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace plans to closely monitor Shell's activity when and if they're permitted.

For more newsletters click here

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.