Royal Dutch Shell has begun drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast.
Company spokesman Curtis Smith says preliminary work for an exploratory well began Sunday morning.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Aug. 30 that Shell would be permitted to begin preparation work at the site even though the company’s spill response barge has not been certified and is not positioned nearby.
The company is authorized to drill narrow pilot holes down to about 1,500 feet below the ocean floor and roughly 4,000 feet above an anticipated petroleum reservoir.
The company also is authorized to drill a 40-foot deep mud-line cellars that will hold a blowout preventer.
Shell Oil Co. paid $2.1 billion for Chukchi leases in 2008.
- A human leg and boot were pulled out of Gastineau Channel near Sandy Beach on Monday afternoon, according to a Juneau Police Department news release.
- A decades old debate is gaining traction over the stability of Sitka’s herring population.
- A trial date has been set for a 21-year-old Alaska man accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend when he tried to kill himself and the bullet struck the woman after passing through his head.
- If you imagine a chart, 'peak summer' is the top of the annual temperature curve or the warmest part of the year. In Interior Alaska, that peak happens much earlier than most of the rest of the country.