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Shell ceases Alaska Arctic drilling after exploratory well disappoints

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Associated Press: Monday 28 September 2015 07.04 BST

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has said it is ceasing exploration in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future, saying an exploratory well drilled to 6,800ft (2,100m) found oil and gas but not in sufficient quantities.

Shell USA’s president, Marvin Odum, said in an announcement early on Monday in the Netherlands that it was a disappointing outcome for that part of the Chukchi sea basin.

Shell drilled in 150ft (45m) of water about 80 miles (130km) off Alaska’s north-west coast. The exploratory well was the first in the Chukchi in 24 years.

Environmental groups oppose Arctic offshore drilling and say industrial activity and more greenhouse gases will harm polar bears, walrus and ice seals.

Over the summer, protesters in kayaks unsuccessfully tried to block Arctic-bound Shell vessels in Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

Shell has spent about $7bn on Arctic offshore development in the hope there would be deposits worth pursuing.

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