Alaska Shell Oil Corporation

Workers injured in offshore oil exploration are, in most cases, governed by Federal Maritime Law. Crewmen who are injured aboard ships or oil rigs qualifying as vessels are entitled to compensation under Federal Maritime law. The Jones Act provides protection to employees* injured through the negligence of their employer.

Compensation under the Jones Act to seamen includes compensation for an injured worker's pain and suffering, disfigurement, lost past and future wages, lost wage earning capacity, vocational retraining expenses, and medical expenses. Injured seamen are also entitled to maintenance and cure benefits under the General Maritime Law.

Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC is one of the nation's leading maritime personal injury law firms. Our lawyers have handled thousands of Jones Act claims and recovered millions of dollars in compensation for its clients throughout the United States. The firm has offices located in Seattle and Anchorage and is the largest law firm on the west coast limiting its practice to representing injured maritime workers. The firm's experience is reflected in the numerous million dollar verdicts and settlements it has obtained for its clients.

Shell Oil Exploration And The Beaufort Sea

When ice conditions allow navigation, Shell Oil will begin oil exploration in the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea in the summer of 2007 utilizing a fleet of 18 vessels, drilling ships and seismic survey vessels. Areas targeted for exploration include regions near Camden Bay and areas east of Prudhoe Bay. Shell Alaska offshore exploration will be the first since exploration was halted in 1990. It is anticipated that Shell's fleet of vessels will drill 3-4 wells per year and could drill up to 11-12 wells over the course of the three-year project, depending upon ice conditions.

Shell reports it will hire as many as 300 summer employees to man oil spill response vessels. Shell has contracted with Arctic Slope Energy Services for oil response services. Arctic Slope Energy Services has indicated it will hire as many workers as possible from North Slope communities.

Crewman Injuries

Shell's negligently injured crewmen on the drilling ships, supply vessels, and oil response vessels working in Alaska are entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. Also, in most cases, Shell workers assigned to work aboard jack up oil rigs and semi-submersible oil rigs are also covered under the Jones Act. Offshore workers aboard fixed platform oil rigs are probably covered under the Outer Continental Lands Act.

As part of Shell's Alaska Oil Exploration program, they will utilize foreign flagged vessels operating within the United States' 200 mile economic impact zone. At least two large Russian ice breakers, Vladimar Ignatyuk and Kapitan Dranitsyn, owned by Murmansk Shipping Co., will be involved in Shell's drilling operations. Claims involving foreign crewmen injured aboard any foreign flagged vessel involved in Shell's Alaska oil exploration project should be carefully analyzed to determine whether or not United States Maritime law applies to their injuries.

The Supreme Court of the United States has held that under proper factual circumstances the Jones Act may be applied to foreign crewmen injured on foreign flagged vessels. Injured seamen aboard foreign vessels receive little compensation for their injuries in comparison to damages compensation available under the Jones Act.

If you are an injured worker hurt in Shell's oil exploration program in Alaska, please contact an attorney at Stacey & Jacobsen to find out about your rights under the Jones Act and the General Maritime law. We help workers injured on oil rigs, supply ships, crew boats, helicopters, oil drilling ships and more. It costs you nothing to call us to find out if you have a case. We offer free initial legal consultations at no charge to the injured worker.

*Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC is a maritime personal injury firm representing injured seaman in Jones Act and General Maritime law claims. Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC does not represent Shell Oil or their insurance companies.

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