Shell has secured another air permit necessary to proceed with oil and gas exploration plans in the Arctic.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that it had issued an air permit for emissions from Shell’s exploration activities in the Beaufort Sea. Shell plans to begin drilling in the region as early as July. The permit applies to Shell’s Kulluk drill rig and support fleet.
Last month, the agency approved air permits for Shell’s Discoverer drillship and related fleet, which the company plans to use in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.
Shell spokesman Curtis Smith called the EPA decision a positive milestone but noted it was another step in the process. Shell still must secure other authorizations and permits, including approval of an oil spill response plan.