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Shell Arctic oil fleet coming to town in direct defiance of Seattle mayor

Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling fleet will come to Seattle in the next week or two despite Mayor Ed Murray’s efforts to block it.

Foss Maritime announced Friday it would appeal the city’s determination Foss would need a new permit to host the controversial drilling rig and support ships at Terminal 5 from the Port of Seattle in West Seattle.

“The appeal process will take months to complete. In the meantime, Foss intends to provide its customer, Royal Dutch Shell, the services for which it contracted over the next few weeks as it prepares for the summer oil exploration season in Alaska,” said Foss in a statement.

The appeal process is expected to take at least 90 days to resolve, at which point the fleet will have already come and gone for the summer drilling season.

Murray, city councilmembers and a number of environmental groups have opposed the fleet, saying arctic drilling could be devastating to the environment.

But supporters argue the fleet will employ over 400 people for at least two years.

Port commissioners will take up the issue at a meeting Tuesday.

The fleet is currently moored in Port Angles and scheduled to stop in Everett for refueling before moving to Seattle.

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