ANCHORAGE, Alaska—Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic drilling program has cleared a major bureaucratic hurdle to begin drilling for oil and gas off Alaska’s northwestern coast this summer.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Monday approved the multi-year exploration plan in the Chukchi Sea for Shell after reviewing thousands of comments from the public, Alaska Native organizations and state and federal agencies.
The approval came just days before a planned protest of the drilling program in Seattle.
Shell must still obtain other permits from state and federal agencies, including one to drill from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Both BOEM and BSEE are agencies of the U.S. Department of Interior. The company must also obtain government opinions that find Shell can comply with terms and conditions of the Endangered Species Act.
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