Liberte Environmental Associates

Exploration Plans, Environmental Impact Assessments,
Notice of Intent to discharge and related Oil Industry Documents
For the Chukchi Sea


Technological advances and the advent of climate change in the Arctic has apparently caused renewed interest in oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea of the Arctic Ocean.

Oil Industry Technology and Climate Change
As stated in their respective exploration plans, Shell and ConocoPhillips plan to drill in the Chukchi Sea of the Arctic Ocean. "Shell" is used here for "Shell Offshore Inc.", "Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc." and "Shell Exploration & Production Company". Also: NOI means Notice of Intent to discharge waste into the Chukchi Sea; BOEMRE is the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

Shell Drilling Plan for the Chukchi Sea in Summer 2012
ConocoPhillips Drilling Plan for the Chukchi Sea in Summer 2013
Additional Oil Drilling Webpages for the Arctic Ocean



Shell Planning for 2012
Shell Revised Chukchi Sea Exploration Plan* for six (6) drilling wells in the Burger Prospect: Posey Area Blocks Lease Sale 193 (Revised CSEP, dated May 2011). This document is out for Public Comment beginning November 16 and ending December 7, 2011. For additional information about the exploration plan and the public comment process see BOEM's webpage for the Shell 2012 Exploration Plan - Chukchi Sea. Many of Shell's documents and appendices are oversized for efficient file handling. Accordingly, some of the links to the appendices for Shell's Revised CSEP include reduced file sizes without loss of information as indicated below.

Appendix A - Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Plan Information Form (Form MMS-137, August 2003) of the Shell Revised CSEP for the six (6) drilling wells planned for the Posey Area Blocks, which include 6714 (Well F), 6762 (Well S), 6764 (Well A), 6812 (Well R), 6912 (Well J) and 6915 (Well V).

Appendix B - Notice of Intent (NOI) to discharge waste to water from drilling of six (6) planned wells. The NOI are intended for compliance under EPA's Arctic Ocean General Permit AKG280000 of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Among other submittals, the NOI require the discharger to: "Provide a line drawing that shows flow of discharged waste streams through the facility. Indicate intake sources, operations contributing to the effluent, and treatment units labeled to correspond to the discharges (001 014). Construct a flow balance on the line drawing by showing average flows between intakes, operations, treatment units, and outfalls. If a flow balance cannot be determined, provide a pictorial description of the nature and amount of any sources, and any collection or treatment measures."

Appendix C - Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) application submitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) by Shell for the non-lethal taking of marine mammals including whales and seals incidental to the 2012 exploration drilling program, zero-offset vertical seismic profile surveys (ZVSP), and other activities.

Appendix D - Marine Mammal Monitoring and Mitigation Plan (4MP) for Shell's 2012 exploration drilling activities in the Chukchi Sea.

Appendix E - Shell Application for U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Letter of Authorization for Polar Bear, Pacific Walrus, and Grizzly Bear Avoidance and Human Encounter/Interaction Plan for Shell's 2012 Exploration Drilling Program in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska.

Appendix F - Environmental Impact Assessment* of the Shell Revised CSEP includes instances of drilling waste discharges that potentially affect Chukchi Sea water quality and ecology.

Appendix G - USCOE Nationwide Permit No. 8 Authorization*, which is necessary because Shell's 2012 drilling project involves placement of structures into waters of the U.S. under Department of the Army Corps of Engineers regulatory jurisdiction.

Appendix H - Plan of Cooperation Addendum of the Shell Revised CSEP to address potential conflicts between drilling procedures and the public including effects on subsistence resources.

Appendix I - Bird Strike Avoidance and Lighting Plan* of the Shell Revised CSEP.

Appendix J - Critical Operations and Curtailment Plan intended as precautionary measures to minimize the likelihood and consequence of an oil spill while drilling exploration wells in the Chukchi Sea.

Appendix K - Ice Management Plan (IMP) relating to vessels, the Shell Ice and Weather Advisory Center (SIWAC), Ice Alerts and Procedures, Well Suspension Procedures, Mooring System Recovery and Release, and other related considerations.

Appendix L - Well Control Plan is projected to implement procedures to maintain pressure inside the drilled wellbore to prevent gas or oil from escaping and causing an uncontrolled discharge.

Appendix M - Fuel Transfer Plan is intended to address the increased risk of fuel spills during fuel transfer operations. Fuel transfers for vessel-to-vessel, vessel-to-MODU and dock-to-vessel are included relative to potential regulatory requirements.

Appendix N - Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Contingence Plan because of the potential hazards when drilling in geologic formations that may contain H2S.

Errata Response for the Revised Chukchi Sea Exploration Plan* by Shell and intended to respond to additional information request by BOEMRE in October 2011.

CononcoPhillips Planning for 2013
ConocoPhillips EIA for the Chukchi Sea Regional Exploration Program: Devils Paw Prospect* (Environmental Impact Assessment, draft August 2011). For additional information from BOEMRE see the draft ConocoPhillips Chukchi Sea Exploration Plan , i.e., the CPCSEP for Devils Paw. The EIA is document locked in Appendix H of the draft CPCSEP.

ConocoPhillips ODPCP for the Chukchi Sea Regional Exploration Alaska* (Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan, a.k.a, cPlan or c-Plan, draft August 2011). The ODPCP is document locked in Appendix E of the draft CPCSEP for Devils Paw.

BOEM's Alaska Region webpage for the Oil and Gas Lease Sales 193 in the Arctic Ocean's Chukchi Sea contains additional information on lease environmental impact statements (EIS). BOEM's webpage for Alaska Region Development/Exploration/Production Activities contains additional information regarding Chukchi Sea exploration plans (EP), oil discharge prevention and contingency plans (ODPCP) and other activities.

Additional Arctic Ocean Oil Drilling Webpages
See LEA's webpage on EPA's progress in renewing the NPDES general permits for oil development in the Arctic Ocean and related documents for wastewater discharges into the Arctic Ocean.

See LEA's webpage for BOEM Environmental Assessments for oil exploration in the Chukchi Sea and related documents for drilling waste discharges into the Arctic Ocean.

See LEA's webpage on NOAA Fisheries progress on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean . Other documents are also referenced on this webpage relating to Arctic Ocean organisms and ecosystems.

Sea ice recession because of climate change is also a factor in oil and gas development in the Arctic Ocean. For additional information see Arctic sea ice.

*LEA Disclaimer for compiled, unlocked and OCR documents: From time to time LEA will post on this website scanned documents, and additional documents otherwise limited in accessibility. Accordingly, LEA may use document unlocking and optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities to provide accessible, tagged text documents for use by people with visual impairments, and also provide searchable documents. The unlocking and OCR processes are not faultless, and hence LEA cannot guarantee document perfection. However, taking these caveats into account, document accessibility is greatly increased. LEA also posts the original document where necessary, as obtained by LEA, such that users may compare any potential imperfections in the unlocked and OCR documents.

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