Skip to content

Shell Chief Financial Officer describes future Arctic explorations as “High Risk”

Royal Dutch Shell PLC announced last week that it plans to apply for permits to explore for oil in the Chukchi Sea’s off Alaska in 2014. The oil multinational was beset by both equipment and weather problems in 2012 when exploring the Arctic, but they remain undeterred in their plans to drill for the estimated 12 billion barrels of recoverable oil that lay beneath the depths of the Chukchi Sea.

Shell’s Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry, last week announced that the company would submit an updated exploration plan for the Chukchi Sea in the next few weeks. In spite of the setbacks faced by Shell in 2012, including a state of the art containment dome being "crushed like a beer can" and a drill rig running aground, the company are keen to get back out to the Chukchi. Henry said, “The money we’ve spent on Alaska will be money well spent if those wells come in...It’s high risk, but sometimes in our industry, that’s what we need to take.”

However, the company have announced that they will be suspending operations in the Beaufort Sea for the foreseeable future, despite spending upwards of £3 billion.

The US Department of the Interior is working towards producing new standards for drilling specifically in the Arctic, and Secretary Sally Jewell has said that these standards will focus on companies being legally required to supply equipment for preventing oil spills, oil spill containment and drilling relief wells to stop spills. Currently, there are no distinct standards for drilling in the Arctic, but the new mandates will likely be announced at the beginning of next year, marking a separation between drilling in the Arctic and elsewhere.

While the announcement from Shell has been welcomed by Alaskan Democrat Senator Mark Begich, many environmental groups are still vehemently opposed to the plan and some have urged President Obama to place a moratorium on any new plans for Arctic drilling. Lois Epstein, Arctic programme director for the Wilderness Society said “I have no reason to be more confident than I did last year in their ability to do a good job. And last year, they had enormous problems.”

Previous article Understanding Requirements for Hazardous Substances: Prevention, Storage, and Clean Up

Compare products

{"one"=>"Select 2 or 3 items to compare", "other"=>"{{ count }} of 3 items selected"}

Select first item to compare

Select second item to compare

Select third item to compare