Environmentalists are suing the oil companies to block them from drilling for oil in the waters off Alaska.
In the latest oil company lawsuit, Alaska Native and environmental groups seeks to stop seismic exploration in Arctic waters frequented by whales and other marine species.
Shell Oil and BP were granted federal permits that allow them to search for oil and gas in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.
The plaintiffs are challenging the legitimacy of these permits and they also allege that the oil companies will be using acoustic technology that may harm marine animals.
Among others, the case names the Minerals Management Service and National Marine Fisheries Service as defendants.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Alaska.