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

Windy Cove to invest $700 million in US carbon dioxide EOR projects

10/09/2014 Blackstone Energy Partners and Blackstone Group affiliates have formed Windy Cove Energy LLC with a commitment to invest as much as $700 million of...

Mubadala Petroleum appoints chief executive officer

10/08/2014

Mubadala Petroleum, Abu Dhabi, has appointed Mussabeh Al Kaabi, currently chief growth officer, as chief executive officer.

 

Ember to acquire Clearwater assets for $605 Million (Can.)

10/08/2014 Ember Resources Inc., Calgary, has agreed to acquire the majority of the Clearwater assets in southern and central Alberta belonging to Encana Corp...

Niko Resources appoints chairman, interim CEO

10/08/2014 Niko Resources Ltd., Calgary, has appointed Kevin J. Clarke as chairman and interim chief executive officer. Clarke, who was appointed to the board...

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