Shell running out of time to drill in U.S. Arctic - this year

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
August 20, 2012



 Approximate site of preliminarily approved drilling by Shell in the Chukchi Sea. Pink outline is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Image made with Google Earth.
Approximate site of preliminarily approved drilling by Shell in the Chukchi Sea. Pink outline is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Image made with Google Earth.

The clock is running out for oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell, to drill controversial oil wells in the U.S. Arctic before the harsh winter sets in, reports The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. While the company is still optimistic it can reach the Arctic by summer's end, it awaits a number of final permits after suffering numerous setbacks, including one of its drilling ships going adrift and nearly running aground in Alaska.

If it makes it to its drilling sites, the company would have to complete any operations by September 24th in the Chukchi Sea and October 31st in the Beaufort Sea, giving the company only a few weeks of operable time. Initially, the company planned to drill five oil wells this summer, but it is now planning only two.

Shell's Arctic plans have been heavily criticized by a broad swathe of environmental and indigenous rights groups, who say the company has no adequate plan to deal with an oil spill in the Arctic's mercurial waters, far from any infrastructure. Shell says that if a spill occurs it is capable of encountering 95 percent of the oil, however it doesn't say how it would remove the oil it encounters.

As Arctic sea ice melts due to climate change, many nations, from the U.S. to Russia, are viewing the region as a new treasure chest of fossil fuel energy, which, if tapped, will worsen climate change worldwide.













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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (August 20, 2012).

Shell running out of time to drill in U.S. Arctic - this year.

http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0820-hance-shell-oil-arctic-clock.html