ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Royal Dutch Shell PLC has applied to amend its federal permit to allow drilling into oil-bearing rock in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska’s northwest coast.
Shell last month received permission to begin some drilling in the Chukchi (chuk-CHEE’) Sea but was banned from digging into petroleum zones roughly 8,000 feet below the ocean floor.
The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement limited the permit then because equipment was not on hand to handle a possible well blowout.
The equipment is on the Fennica, an icebreaker that suffered hull damage July 3 in the Aleutians Islands. The repaired Fennica left Portland, Oregon, on July 30.
Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says Shell applied Thursday to lift the restriction on drilling. The Fennica is expected to reach the drill site Tuesday.