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Shell to pay $1.1 million in fines for Arctic air-quality violations

By Yereth Rosen ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Shell has agreed to pay $1.1 million for air-quality violations from the vessels it used to drill two oil-exploration wells in Arctic waters off Alaska last year, federal regulators said. Shell will pay the civil fines for Clean Air Act violations that were discovered during inspections of the Discoverer and Kulluk drillships, which operated in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, the Environmental Protection Agency said late on Thursday.

Greenpeace launches Arctic "whistleblower" site for oil workers

OSLO (Reuters) - Environmental group Greenpeace launched a website on Wednesday seeking to attract whistleblowers from within oil companies to reveal risks with drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic. Greenpeace wants governments to ban oil and gas firms from the fragile Arctic environment. It urged employees of oil firms and sub-contractors to submit information to the new website ( if they knew about serious safety issues or risks that were in the public interest.

UPDATE 4-Shell abandons Alaska offshore drilling for this year

By Yereth Rosen ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc will not drill for oil in Alaska's Arctic seas this year, the company said on Wednesday, in a widely expected decision that follows a series of high-profile setbacks in 2012. Both critics and supporters of Shell's controversial Arctic offshore foray welcomed its decision to give up on drilling there for 2013, while the company tries to get its drillships ready and answers to U.S. federal investigators.

UPDATE 4-Stricken Alaska oil rig refloated and under tow

* Oil rig refloated at 0710 GMT * Weather remains a challenge, with gales forecast * Salvage teams found no signs of breaches to fuel tanks By Yereth Rosen ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan 7 (Reuters) - A recovery team has refloated a Shell oil drilling rig that ran aground last week near an Alaska island and began towing it on Monday towards a more sheltered position 30 miles away.

UPDATE 1-Runaway Alaska oil rig dragged two tugs for miles

* Shell's Kulluk drillship "upright and stable" * Coast Guard plans more overflights of grounded rig * Kulluk needed as backup for Shell's other Arctic rig By Andrew Callus and Yereth Rosen LONDON/ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan 2 (Reuters) - The runaway oil rig that ran aground in Alaska on New Year's Eve dragged two vessels trying to control it more than 10 miles ( 16 kilometer s) to ward shore in just over an hour before the crews cut it loose to save themselves in "near hurricane" conditions.
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