Shell Oil

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Minor oil spills at Bellingham have plagued construction of an oil spill containment barge needed for Shell Oil to drill exploratory wells in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska.

The Washington Ecology Department says hydraulic systems leaked on July 24, Aug. 4 and Aug. 6, each releasing about a quart of oil into Whatcom Waterway. The department sent a notice of violation to Superior Energy Services, which is building the Arctic Challenger.