Shell’s Arctic Drilling Ships Not Welcome in British Columbia Either

Shell’s Arctic drilling plans have hit another round of protests, this time in British Columbia, as oil major intends to intensify its movements through the West Coast’s Inside Passage.

Namely, a group of environmentalists and BC First Nations are protesting the move as they fear that increased tanker traffic in the region could be dangerous for the region, which might result in an oil spill, the Canadian Press reports.

According to environmental organization Greenpeace, among the first to enter BC’s waters will be Shell’s oil-spill-containment vessel, the Arctic Challenger, which is expected soon to pass along B.C.’s coastline heading to the Aleutian Peninsula in Alaska.

Just last week, two activists climbed the anchor chain of the Arctic Challenger and chained themselves to the vessel, anchored in Bellingham, north of Seattle, in an attempt of stopping the vessel from departing for the Arctic as environmental concerns heighten over oil drilling plans and their impact on pollution and the climate change in the region.

Activists against Shell’s Arctic drilling plans, gathered under the umbrella of the ShellNo Council, plan to protest the departure of the Noble Discoverer, which is expected to head to Seattle from Everett in the next couple of days in their kayaks.

The tensions are further heightened by the recent findings of a report released by the US National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) on the grounding the drilling rig Kulluk, owned and operated by Royal Dutch Shell, in Alaskan waters in 2012.

Namely the report shows that the grounding was most probably caused by an inadequate towing plan by Shell  that did not address all the risks involved.

World Maritime News Staff; Image: ShellNo Council