Shell Oil drilling ship to arrive in Portland

Coast Guard sets aside protest area around ship that will eventually drill in the Arctic.

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A ship that has gotten approval to drill in the Arctic will stop in Portland for repairs before heading north.

Shell Oil secured the permit to allow for drilling off of Alaska Wednesday.

Shell can only drill the top sections of wells because the company doesn’t have on site the critical emergency response equipment to cap the well in case of a leak. That equipment is aboard a ship headed to Portland, Oregon, for repairs. The Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in a statement that Shell could submit an amended application for deeper drilling when the capping stack can be deployed within 24 hours.

“Without question, activities conducted offshore Alaska must be held to the highest safety, environmental protection and emergency response standards,” said the bureau’s director, Brian Salerno.

(SOURCE: Associated Press)

Protests are expected as the ship is stationed in Stumptown.

Accordingly, the Coast Guard has established a buffer zone around the ship, which protestors cannot breach.

While the ship is moving, people will be required to stay 500 yards away from the front of the vessel and 100 yards away on every other side. While it is stationary, the boundary is 100 yards away all the way around.

Coast Guard officials say the safety zone is to ensure no one is hurt on or off the Fennica while it is moving or in port.


A release from the Coast Guard read: “It is a no-wake area where individuals can congregate without compromising their personal safety or jeopardizing the safe navigation of maritime traffic around them.”


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