Shell gets nod for Alaska drilling plans

May 31, 2012 at 7:23 AM
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JUNEAU, Alaska, May 31 (UPI) -- A U.S. federal court in Alaska issued an injunction that would keep activists from Greenpeace from Shell operations planned for the state's coast.

The court issued a ruling that barred Greenpeace activists from attempting to disrupt Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea during the summer. The injunction covers drilling and support vessels designated by Shell for work in the arctic waters of Alaska.

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith was quoted by the Platts news service as saying Shell was pleased with the ruling.

"Greenpeace activists have consistently endangered the safety of the crews aboard Shell-chartered vessels and this ruling could add an additional measure of safety for our personnel and assets during the summer drilling season," he said.

Greenpeace has protested Shell's plans for arctic waters off the coast of Alaska. It said it's received nearly 500,000 letters in opposition to Shell's planned exploration campaign.

The U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has approved Shell's 450-page, oil-spill response plan for work in the arctic.

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