Shell postpones Arctic drilling plans
Tue, 18 Sep 2012 5:25a.m.
Shell said Monday it will no longer seek oil off the coast of Alaska this year after suffering several setbacks.
The company, which has so far spent around US$4.5 billion to obtain licenses and prepare for exploratory drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, said it is scaling back ambitions until next summer after one of its containment systems failed during a test. Earlier, the company delayed drilling due to ice floe movements.
The company said that in the time remaining this season it plans to drill shallow "top holes" for wells that may be further pursued in coming years.
To obtain approval to drill, Shell fought a long struggle against environmental groups, who say seeking oil in the icy waters is too risky. In a statement Monday, Greenpeace claimed "vindication" and called Shell's program a "monumentally reckless gamble".
"Investors must now be asking whether investing such vast sums of money trying to exploit the fragile Arctic is really worth it," said Ben Ayliffe, head of Greenpeace's campaign to stop Shell.
Shell said its decision is evidence of how carefully it is proceeding.
"This exploration program remains critically important to America's energy needs, to the economy and jobs in Alaska, and to Shell," a statement published by the company said.
In June, Kiwi actress Lucy Lawless and seven other Greenpeace activists admitted a charge of being unlawfully on a ship after they spent 77 hours on a 53m-high tower they scaled aboard the Noble Discoverer at Port Taranaki in February.
The action was to protest Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.
They were to be sentenced last week, but their court date was adjourned until November because police are seeking reparations of more than $700,000 on behalf of Shell, according to Greenpeace.
"Greenpeace NZ has insufficient detail to comment further, but it is likely that reparation will not be agreed to," Greenpeace said in a statement.
Lawless, who is appearing in court under her married name, Lucy Tapert, will be sentenced in November along with Raoni Hammer, Mike Buchanan, Shayne Comino, Viv Hadlow, Shai Naides, Zach Penman and Ilai Amir.
AP / 3 News / NZN
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19/09/2012 2:05:46 a.m.
I suppose GreenPeace will find a way to claim victory even though it had nothing to do with them.
18/09/2012 9:32:26 a.m.
Gregory Przybylinski wrote:
Wonderful ! Let us hope this is a sign of good things to come.
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