Shell looks to resume exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic waters off of Alaska this summer in an effort to find new crude reserves in Chukchi Sea.
Before drilling can proceed, Shell will need to obtain the required permits, overcome clear legal challenges, and prepare technically and logistically.
Seattle will play a significant role in Shell’s exploration if the project moves forward. Currently, eight vessels are berthed at Terminal 5 in West Seattle. The fleet could include drill rigs, icebreakers, environmental-response vessels, tugs and barges for seasonal operations.
Shell’s presence at the Seattle Port could create a number of local jobs and generate tens of millions of dollars of revenue for the region.
In 2015, the company expects to spend more than $1 billion exploring for oil off Alaska but is currently still awaiting approval from the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.