Shell drops plans for Beaufort Sea drilling in 2011

Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, Feb. 7 -- Shell Alaska dropped its plans to drill in the Beaufort Sea this year, Shell Alaska Vice-Pres. Peter Slaiby said during a Feb. 3 news conference in Anchorage. The announcement came after a ruling last month revoked federal clean air permits to allow the drilling.

A federal environmental appeals board in January ruled the US Environmental Protection Agency needs to do more extensive analysis of nitrogen dioxide emissions from vessels involved in drilling operations. The ruling was based upon appeals from Alaska Native and conservation groups.

Slaiby said Shell’s decision to delay Beaufort exploratory drilling stemmed from “continuous regulatory delays.” Royal Dutch Shell PLC has worked for 5 years and invested more than $50 million pursuing air permits to drill in Arctic waters off Alaska, he said.

Shell intends to work closely with the EPA to identify an improved process for delivering air permits for 2012, Slaiby said.

“Shell has dedicated significant time and resources to commencing a world-class, environmentally responsible exploration program for Alaska, and the loss of another drilling season is extremely disappointing,” he said.

Previously, Shell Alaska had planned exploratory drilling during 2010 in both the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, but those plans were put on hold following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from the deepwater Macondo well operated by BP PLC.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) issued a statement after Shell’s announcement. Murkowski said the government’s decision could “result in all of us paying more for gasoline—not to mention the loss of jobs and revenue that responsible development brings.”

“We talk a lot about the economy, but rarely do our actions match our rhetoric,” Murkowski said. “That’s unfortunate.”

Shell Offshore Inc. last year submitted an application to the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement for a permit to drill an exploration well in the Beaufort Sea in 2011. The application was for the shallow waters of Camden Bay (OGJ Online, Oct. 7, 2010).

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

India’s ONGC to invest in Daman development in Arabian Sea

08/29/2014 India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. will invest $864.5 million to enhance natural gas and condensate production from its Tapti Daman block in the A...

Nexen boosts CNOOC’s first-half production

08/29/2014 Nexen Energy ULC contributed 36.3 million boe during this year’s first half to CNOOC Ltd.’s total net oil and gas production of 211.6 million boe, ...

Fitch: Drilling downturn might prompt some consolidation

08/28/2014 A cyclical downturn in offshore drilling might provide an opportunity for driller contractors having financial flexibility to buy their peers at fa...

Verma named managing director at India’s ONGC Videsh

08/27/2014 India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd. has named Narendra Verma its managing director. Verma’s previous positions include director of exploration of Maharatna ON...

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected