Arctic Drilling

Shell Oil Rig Arrives In Puget Sound

Apr 17, 2015
Backbone Campaign / Flickr

A 400 foot tall oil rig has arrived in Port Angeles. Shell Oil plans to use the Polar Pioneer to drill this summer, off Alaska’s North Slope. Environmentalists oppose the exploration - many were in Port Angeles Friday for what they called an "unwelcoming". 

Among them, Michael Bittner. He said the arrival of the Polar Pioneer felt like an invasion.

"To have something come into our region that has already been said to pose a catastrophic risk to the Arctic and global climate is really devastating to see here," Bittner said.

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Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, is expected to arrive Friday in Port Angeles, Washington.

Shell has just received the necessary federal permits to drill for oil in the Arctic and will be staging its fleet in Seattle, despite a lawsuit filed by environmental groups and an investigation launched by the Seattle City Council.

Activists have warned of a flotilla of kayaks that would extend a less-than-warm welcome to Shell when it arrives at the Port of Seattle.

Ashley Ahearn

The Port of Seattle will host Shell Oil’s arctic drilling fleet. That includes ships and drilling rigs. The Port signed a lease earlier this month that has caused a stir among some citizens and elected officials, who say the lease goes against the Port and city’s commitment to green leadership.

The room was packed when a group of graying ladies who call themselves “the raging grannies” took the microphone to sing their testimony.