Shell denied permission to discharge wastewater in Seattle

San Francisco: The small nicks keep accumulating for Shell. Latest irritant to the Dutch oil giant – as it prepares to resume Arctic offshore drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska – is a permit refusal from King County decision makers.

King County voted on Wednesday to deny Shell a permit application for the Polar Pioneer oil rig to discharge wastewater into the regional sewer system.

The rig has been a source of controversy since the Port of Seattle signed a two-year lease with Foss Maritime earlier this year to house Shell’s Arctic oil-drilling fleet at Terminal 5.

On Tuesday the rig failed a US Coast Guard inspection, with unspecified but fixable flaws. Two weeks ago the city of Seattle said the port had violated its lease by agreeing to house Shell’s Arctic fleet. And the port of Seattle had asked Shell to delay the arrival of its big rigs, but that was not done.

Also on Wednesday the governor of Alaska, Bill Walker, toured the Polar Pioneer and came away impressed. He spoke to Washington State governor Jay Inslee and told him his state’s position on Arctic drilling would hurt the economy of Alaska.


Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.


  1. Shell has to be kicked-out of Seattle, until they clean-up their in the Nigerian delta.

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