IMO completes Polar Code, regulating Arctic and Antarctic shipping

Alaska Dispatch News

Starting in 2017, it will be illegal for shippers to dump oil, oily waste or noxious materials into Arctic or Antarctic waters.

That prohibition is part of a set of environmental rules and standards approved on Friday by the International Maritime Organization.

Friday’s action, which followed the approval in November of a set of marine safety standards for ships sailing in polar waters, cements what is now a comprehensive International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters — commonly known as the Polar Code.

Shell Demonstrates Arctic Spill Response Capabilities

By Wendy Laursen

The Maritime Executive

Shell’s controversial plan to recommence drilling operations in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea has been met with protest by people from around the world. However, Shell’s Alaska program has gone to great lengths to make sure a worst-case scenario, such as an oil spill, never takes place, and the company has just released an animation demonstrating its spill response capabilities.

Shell is preparing 25 vessels to begin a two-year drilling program in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska. Although Shell had to pull out of the region in 2012 after an oil rig ran aground, the Arctic oil reserve “remains a massive value opportunity,” the company has said.

Alaska’s Arctic oil resources require tech investment now

By Gary Gentile

The Barrel

The technology underlying the US shale revolution was largely developed and funded by government laboratories working in conjunction with the private sector. Could the same formula be the key to unlocking the oil and gas riches offshore Alaska?

That’s one of the intriguing possibilities to come from a nearly two-year study of the arctic potential commissioned by the US Department of Energy.

The National Petroleum Council’s report contains a number of recommendations aimed at developing the massive energy resources presumed to be in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. A key takeaway is the need to boost public confidence in the need for and safety of Arctic exploration.