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Shell shareholders can only wish that they had never heard of Alaska

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 09.25.26By John Donovan

Christopher Helman of Forbes has neatly summarised the misadventures of Royal Dutch Shell in Alaska…

“Consider for a second the $5 billion misadventure that Royal Dutch Shell has had in Alaska. Here’s a quick recap: In 2008 Shell acquired the rights to exploration blocks in the Beaufort Sea north of the North Slope. Shell, in 2012 (after years of studying whales and seals, negotiating with the native peoples, and satisfying draconian EPA rules governing diesel emissions in the middle of freaking nowhere) finally floated its Kulluk drillship into the Beaufort, where it only got to drill for a few weeks before having to be towed back to port lest icebergs crush it. On the way out it got grounded on the rocks of Kodiak Island. Shell decided to press pause on its Alaska project, and Shell shareholders can only wish that they had never heard of Alaska.”

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