The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has sent Shell Offshore’s Beaufort Sea exploration drilling plan back for more work.
Earlier today the court vacated approval of the plan by the U.S. Minerals Management Service in February 2007 and remanded the plan to the agency for an enhanced environmental assessment or, “as necessary,” an environmental impact statement.
MMS approval of the plan had been appealed by the North Slope Borough, the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and several environmental organizations.
A motion by Shell Oct. 30 to lift the temporary injunction imposed by the court in August 2007 was denied as moot.
This story broke as the Nov. 23 issue Petroleum News was going to print; see the full story in the Nov. 30 issue, available to subscribers online at noon Friday, Nov. 28 at www.PetroleumNews.com