Shell cancels plans to drill in the Alaskan Arctic this summer

The Guardian reports, 30th January 2014: “Shell has announced plans to slash its exploration and development spending from $46bn (£27.8bn) to $37bn this year and has ditched plans to drill in the Alaskan Arctic this summer.


Shell issued a shock profit warning two weeks ago.
Photograph: Rick Wilking/Reuters

The cutbacks were unveiled by new chief executive, Ben van Beurden, who said they were part of a range of initiatives to make up for what he described as Shell’s “loss of momentum”. Van Beurden, who took over from Peter Voser at the turn of the year confirmed that fourth-quarter profits — on a current cost of supply basis — had plunged by 71% to $2.1bn. Annual earnings almost halved to $16.7bn.

The decision to shelve drilling off Alaska this summer will delight environmentalists and is the latest setback for the Anglo Dutch oil giant in the far north. It follows a US court ruling that the department of the interior had failed to consider all environmental impacts of the exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas when it gave Shell permission to drill.

Greenpeace Arctic oil campaigner Charlie Kronick said: “The company has spent huge amounts of time and money on a project that has delivered nothing apart from bad publicity and a reputation for incompetence. The only wise decision at this point is for Mr. Van Beurden to cut his company’s losses and scrap any future plans to drill in the remote Arctic ocean. “Shell’s Arctic failure is being watched closely by other oil companies, who must now conclude that this region is too remote, too hostile and too iconic to be worth exploring.”

Source: The Guardian, 30th January 2014, For the full text see

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