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Shell receives conditional approval for US Arctic exploration plan

EBR Staff Writer Published 05 August 2011

Shell Offshore has received conditional approval from the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) to drill up to four shallow water exploration wells in the US Arctic region, beginning in July 2012.

The conditional approval of this exploration plan in the Beaufort Sea off the coast of Alaska came following the bureau's completion of a site-specific environmental assessment to examine the potential environmental impacts of the plan.

According to BOEMRE, the conditions of approval require that Shell obtain all necessary permits from other agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Shell acquired the leases to be explored as part of Beaufort Sea Planning Area Oil and Natural Gas Lease Sales 195 and 202 held in 2005 and 2007, respectively.

BOEMRE director Michael Bromwich said the bureau will review and monitor Shell's proposed activities to ensure that any activities that take place under this plan will be conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.