The Environmental Protection Agency’s permits, which are subject to 30 days of public comment, were issued today after the Environmental Appeals Board overturned previous approvals last year. The Hague-based company also needs authorization from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement to begin exploration.
Shell acquired oil leases in the Beaufort Sea in 2005, and added Chukchi Sea leases in 2008. The company has said it plans to drill as many as two wells a year in the Beaufort Sea, and as many as three a year in the Chukchi Sea from 2012 through 2013.
Shell’s spokesman Curtis Smith didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment.
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