According to Reuters, the Swiss UBS Bank decided to stop providing its support concerning drilling in the Arctic. In fact, the bank will stop funding future offshore oil and gas projects located in Alaska, amid efforts to face climate change.
The global communications company OneWeb announced a new distributor partnership expected to enable delivery of its high speed communications services across Alaska. The deal, inked with Pacific Dataport Inc. (PDI), a company founded by Microcom.
The new Alaska-based company Qilak LNG revealed plans to ship natural gas from the North Slope field to Asian markets, under a proposed Alaska North Slope LNG export project (Qilak LNG 1 Project). To this end, the company announced an agreement with ExxonMobil Alaska Production to ship LNG from Point Thomson.
The Alaskan state legislature is to restructure the Ocean Rangers program, monitoring cruise ship traffic in the vulnerable waters of Alaska, in opposition with a recently-imposed veto by Alaskan Governor Mike Dunleavy, announced a month ago.
The northern Bering Sea and Bering Strait region has been an ecological, cultural, and economic center for Yup’ik, Cup’ik, St. Lawrence Island Yupik, and Inupiaq peoples for millennia. Yet, recently, a combination of factors, including less sea ice and more trade and resource development, has resulted to an increased vessel traffic in the region led by huge cargo vessels, tugs, and research vessels, and is expected to continue growing.
The Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center carried out a multibeam bathymetry survey and a land survey of Cannon Beach in Yakutat, Alaska. This aims to create a 3D map of the beach, under a US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management-funded project to assess wave energy in Alaska.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coast Survey announced launch of hydrographic expeditions through July and August to discover what lies underneath the water’s surface. Currently only 4.1% of the US maritime Arctic has been charted to modern international navigation standards.
IMO’s Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue agreed to establish two-way routes, precautionary areas and areas to be avoided in the Bering Sea and Bering Strait. These waters are expected to see increased traffic due to rising economic activity in the Arctic.
Italian oil producer Eni, through its subsidiary Eni US Operating Co Inc, started drilling a new well in US waters off the north coast of Alaska. BSEE approved the plan in July, making the oil and gas company the first one allowed to explore for oil in US waters off Alaska since 2015.
The European Climate Foundation has created an infographic which depicts potential dangers of the increased Arctic shipping activity in the region. An oil spill can be proven catastrophic for the region, because of Arctic’s sensitive environment.
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