"There's nothing that's going to get us to drilling in 2010," said Curtis Smith, a Shell spokesman, when asked whether the language of the announcement left room for salvaging Shell's summer operations in Alaska.
Partly thanks to fears about the size of the final bill, BP now trades at a 20% discount to its rival, Royal Dutch Shell PLC.
Years before the Gulf of Mexico became witness to the nightmare scenario of an unstoppable volcano of crude oil gushing from an unplugged oil well deep beneath the ocean, both the oil industry and the federal agency charged with monitoring seabed drilling off America's coasts knew the last-ditch "failsafe" technology intended to prevent just this sort of catastrophe might not work.
Shell declined to give a predicted date for full production pending the outcome of the planning application. However, it is unlikely full production will start before next year.
Across the globe, industry-driven regulation is the norm, not the exception - and critics are calling for a re-examination of a system that puts crucial safety decisions into the hands of corporations motivated by profit.
This initiative is a three-year, $90 million deployment that is part and parcel of the estimated $1.6bn global strategic sourcing agreement inked by Shell and AT&T in 2008, during which Shell awarded AT&T with a contract to manage most of its telecom and IT infrastructure services.
"The biggest deficit contribution was made by oil group Royal Dutch Shell, which handed £2.7bn to its pension scheme."