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.
- The primary source of school funding would not be reduced. Permanent fund dividends would be cut in half, to $1,100.
- 360 North’s new documentary “Inside Out: Leaving Prison Behind,” premieres 8 p.m. this Friday, June 23 on 360 North.
- The state is advertising the ferry Taku again. It listed the ship earlier at $1.5 million, then at $700,000. This time, there's no advertised minimum.
- The National Endowment for the Arts has named a Chilkat weaver from Juneau as one of its nine National Heritage Fellows. Anna Brown Ehlers, 62, has been recognized for her mastery of this challenging art form that's specific to Southeast Alaska and parts of British Columbia.