Groups seek halt to Arctic offshore drilling

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 03, 2013 18:15 hrs

Two national environmental groups are calling for a halt to federal permits for Arctic offshore petroleum drilling after the grounding of a Royal Dutch Shell PLC drill ship off Alaska's coast.

Representatives of the Natural Resources Defense Council and The Wilderness Society say Shell has demonstrated it's not ready to drill in Arctic waters. They say the risks are too large to make mistakes in one of the most fragile places on earth.

The drill ship Kulluk performed preliminary work on a well during the open water season in the Beaufort (BOE-fort) Sea. It was being towed to Seattle last week for upgrades when it became separated from tow lines.

Efforts to maintain reattached lines failed and the barge ran aground Monday night on Sitkalidak (sit-ka-LEE'-dack) Island near Kodiak.

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