Shell Blocked from Using Seattle Port to Moor Arctic Rig

Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) said that Port of Seattle needs an additional permit if it wants to lease its Terminal 5 to serve as a mooring dock for Shell’s Arctic oil rig and accompanying tugs.

This interpretation was generated in response to general questions DPD has received regarding a proposal to moor an exploratory drilling rig and two accompanying tugboats at the Terminal 5 facility for periods of approximately six months a year when the drilling rig is not in use in the Arctic.

Media reports indicate that two drilling rigs are destined for Seattle: the Polar Pioneer and the Noble Discoverer. The information provided by the Port indicates that only one of these, Polar Pioneer, would moor at Terminal 5, DPD said.

”I expect the port to obtain all required city permits before any moorage or work begins at T5 on off-shore oil drilling equipment. While requiring a new permit may not stop the port’s plans, it does give the port an opportunity to pause and rethink this issue,” Seattle’s Mayor Ed Murray said.

”I urge the port to consider, is this really the right use of Terminal 5, even for the short term? Does this use reflect the businesses of the future we want in Seattle? This is an opportunity for the port and all of us to make a bold statement about how oil companies contribute to climate change, oil spills and other environmental disasters – and reject this short-term lease.”

Image: Statoil