Shell suspends wasteful, crazy Arctic drilling
Good news for the environment. Let's hope the company did a better job sealing its test well than it did getting its rig launched in the first place:
Royal Dutch Shell announced early Monday morning it will suspend Arctic drilling indefinitely, after finding insufficient oil and gas in one of its exploratory wells to justify costly development.
The move puts the end — for now — on the contentious debate over whether oil and gas exploration should take place in the environmentally sensitive area off Alaska’s coast. President Obama has come under intense fire for allowing drilling to proceed, and environmentalists cheered Shell’s announcement...
The company said it would take a large financial charge as a result of the announcement. The balance sheet value of Shell’s Alaska position is approximately $3.0 billion, with approximately a further $1.1 billion of future contractual commitments for equipment the company expected to use in 2016 and 2017, the company said...
Shell has spent more than $7 billion on oil exploration in the Alaskan Arctic, including more than $2 billion in what was a record Interior Department lease sale in 2008 and $1.4 billion this year.
But its efforts to find a vast amount of oil have been mired in lawsuits and a regulatory process complicated by a series of mishaps — such as hitting uncharted shoals — that have damaged vessels required for the drilling program.
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