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Shell Alaska boss: ‘There will be spills’

Royal Dutch Shell’s Alaska vice-president has admitted he believes “there will be spills” by companies drilling for oil in the Alaskan Arctic.

Environmental campaigners oppose drilling in the Arctic

Emily Gosden By 6:35PM GMT 29 Nov 2012

Shell is one of a handful of companies exploring in Arctic waters and began drilling off Alaska this year.

Environmentalists oppose drilling on the grounds a spill would devastate the environment.

Asked what people were concerned about, Mr Slaiby told the BBC: “There’s no sugarcoating this, it is [an] oil spill.”

“If you ask me will there ever be spills, I imagine there will be spills,” he said.

“Will there be a spill large enough to impact people’s subsistence? My view is no, I don’t believe that would happen.

Campaign group FairPensions said the comments departed from Shell’s “mantra” of focusing on preventing spills and called into question the company’s testing of its spill response plans.

A Shell spokesman said regulators had approved its spill response plans, which showed its Arctic oil spill response fleet was “second to none in the world”.

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