Plagued with problems with both its drilling rigs and its oil spill containment vessel, Shell Alaska announced Wednesday that it will not conduct offshore drilling operations in the Alaska Arctic this year.
The decision to “pause” Arctic drilling during the upcoming ice-free months of summer will allow the company to repair and retool its troubled rigs and prepare for future operations in a program that has already cost the company nearly $5 billion.
“So Shell was the only oil company deemed ready enough to start drilling in the Arctic, to start drilling in this pristine environment where we have not allowed drilling in the past. Shell was the only company given the go-ahead by the U.S. government.
Shell sent two rigs to go try to drill in the Arctic, and both rigs went ker-splat!
And then today Shell said, ‘You know what? Forget it. We’re out. We can’t do it.’”
“And given Shell’s mess up there… the Interior Department is right now doing an emergency review of whether Arctic drilling can be done safely at all.”
“What happens next in this industry is anybody’s guess.”
To repeat, what does it take? We were lucky this time, no spill, no leaks… that we know of.
Here’s the back story: