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Even as it walks away from Arctic drilling, Shell keeps door open for future work

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Posted on October 29, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Shell is walking away from oil exploration in Arctic waters north of Alaska, but it isn’t ready to close the door completely.

Disappointing results from a critical test well at the company’s Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, combined with the high costs of developing the region and an “unpredictable regulatory environment” have prompted Royal Dutch Shell “to cease further exploration activity offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future,” CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters Thursday. read more

US Follows Royal Dutch Shell plc Backs Away From Arctic Drilling

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By: Micheal KaufmanOct 19, 2015

The US Interior Department announced on Friday that it will cancel the auction of 2016 and 2017 natural gas and offshore oil leases in the Arctic Ocean. The auction was scheduled under the Department’s current five-year Chukchi Sea leasing program for 2012–2017. The division cited low crude oil prices and lack of interest from oil companies as the main reason behind its decision.

This news comes a few weeks after Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) withdrew its Arctic drilling plan. The oil giant had spent $7 billion for the Arctic campaign. It said last month that it has dropped its exploration and production (E&P) activities in the Burger prospect of the Chukchi Sea, as it found few traces of oil and natural gas in the region. The company was not satisfied with the drilling results; it had initially expected huge amount of oil traces in the Ocean. Shell has dropped all future plans of Arctic drilling for the foreseeable future. read more

Interior: No more new Arctic oil leases for remainder of Obama’s presidency

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Interior: No more new Arctic oil leases for remainder of Obama’s presidency

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Gregory Korte, USA TODAY: Oct 16, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is canceling its plans to sell oil drilling rights in the Arctic Sea through 2017, a remarkable turnaround since expanding drilling by approving new drilling permits for Shell Oil earlier this year.

But Royal Dutch Shell’s decision last month to suspend its oil exploration in offshore Alaskan waters — citing disappointing results from a well in the Chukchi Sea — prompted the Interior Department to cancel further oil leases.

“In light of Shell’s announcement, the amount of acreage already under lease and current market conditions, it does not make sense to prepare for lease sales in the Arctic in the next year and a half,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. read more

U.S. Blocks Alaskan Arctic Drilling for 2 Years

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31By CLIFFORD KRAUSSOCT. 16, 2015

HOUSTON — The Obama administration shut the door Friday on drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean over the next two years, canceling auctions for drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

The decision by the Interior Department was not surprising because it came less than a month after Shell Oil canceled the most advanced exploration project in the region because of disappointing results from a test well and high costs at a time when oil prices are extremely low.

Still, the announcement is symbolically important as the administration steps back from its cautious support of drilling in the Arctic. read more

U.S. cancels Arctic offshore lease sale after Shell drops interest

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31WASHINGTON: Fri Oct 16, 2015

The U.S. Interior Department on Friday said it would cancel two potential Arctic offshore lease sales after Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSa.L) said that it was not interested in those leases.

“In light of Shell’s announcement, the amount of acreage already under lease and current market conditions, it does not make sense to prepare for lease sales in the Arctic in the next year and a half,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement.

Shell said last month it was giving up its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude oil. read more

Shell’s drilling vessels leave Arctic waters after company ends oil exploration off Alaska

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31DAN JOLING: Associated Press: Oct. 13, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two drill vessels employed by Royal Dutch Shell PLC off Alaska’s northwest coast have safely departed Arctic waters for the Pacific Northwest.

The 572-foot Noble Discoverer, owned by Noble Drilling U.S. LLC, reached Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands on Sunday afternoon. After a Coast Guard inspection, the vessel departed Monday for the Port of Everett in Washington state, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.

The Polar Pioneer, owned by Transocean Ltd., reached Dutch Harbor on Monday afternoon. Two tug boats accompanying the semi-submersible drilling vessel, the Ocean Wind and Ocean Wave vessel, planned to refuel and change crews. The Polar Pioneer will be towed to Port Angeles, Washington. read more

Shell Is Reeling After Pulling Out of the Arctic

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Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 09.03.21BY ANTONIA JUHASZ / OCTOBER 13, 2015

Earlier this month, Shell’s tumultuous Arctic drilling campaign came to an abrupt and costly end. In a written statement, the company announced the cessation of its offshore Alaska activities “for the foreseeable future”—at a loss of billions of dollars. This both stunned and thrilled critics, many of whom worried that the seven-year effort to stop Shell was dead in July, when the Obama administration approved the company’s permits to drill. read more

Shell’s withdrawal from Arctic energizes activists

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By Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Hearst Washington Bureau: Oct  8, 2015

WASHINGTON — Environmentalists who battled Arctic oil drilling by paddling kayaks, dangling from bridges and climbing onto rigs at sea have claimed a high-profile success against Shell and aim to funnel the resulting enthusiasm into other fights against fossil fuels.

Shell is abandoning its long crusade to find crude in the waters north of Alaska after disappointing results at a critical test well in the Chukchi Sea. While the company cited financial reasons for the pullout, the move nonetheless represents a tangible victory for environmental activists. read more

Myths about Shell’s Arctic Alaska pullout persist

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Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 09.03.21Yereth RosenAlaska Dispatch News: October 3, 2015

When Royal Dutch Shell announced that it had lost its big-money bet in the Chukchi Sea and would end its entire program in the offshore U.S. Arctic, the hyperbole and finger-pointing began in earnest.

Rep. Don Young accused President Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell of deliberately sabotaging Alaska’s economy. “I’m sure somewhere Sally Jewell and President Obama are smiling and celebrating Shell’s decision to cease operations off the coast of Alaska,” Young said in a statement issued just after Shell’s announcement. read more

What Shell’s latest move says about Arctic drilling myths

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Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 14.26.20By  Scott L. Montgomery OCTOBER 1, 2015

The company’s departure is certainly a pause in a new era of Arctic exploration, but it’s not the end.

After seven years of preparation and several billion dollars spent, Shell has decided to abandon its exploration program in the U.S. Arctic “for the foreseeable future.” This follows barely two months’ drilling in the Chukchi Sea at the company’s Burger J well, located 150 miles northwest of Barrow, Alaska. Evaluation of all data revealed “indications” of oil and gas but not enough to justify further activity in today’s low price environment. read more

Shell’s Arctic defeat ends dream of new frontier

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Christopher Adams, Ed Crooks and Jack Farchy

After nine difficult years and $7bn of spending, Royal Dutch Shell has admitted it has nothing to show for its contentious campaign to discover oil in the Arctic. As it pulled the plug on further drilling — announcing billions of dollars in likely losses — the prospects for a new frontier in exploration faded, too.

FULL FT ARTICLE

Why Shell Quit Drilling in the Arctic

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By Paul Barrett: BLOOMBERG.COM: 28 SEPT 2015: 6:12 PM BST

Royal Dutch Shell’s abrupt announcement today that it would cease all offshore drilling in the Arctic is surprising for several reasons. One is the unusual degree of confidence the company expressed as recently as mid-August that it had identified 15 billion barrels of oil beneath the well known as Burger J it’s now abandoning. 

What on earth happened?

Mistaken geology

After spending $7 billion over several years to explore a single well this summer, Shell said in a statement that it “found indications of oil and gas … but these are not sufficient to warrant further exploration.” This contrasts sharply with Shell officials’ statements as recently as July and August that based on 3D and 4D seismic analysis of core samples, its petroleum geologists were “very confident” drillers would find plentiful oil. read more

Shell Exits Arctic as Oil Slump Forces Industry to Retrench

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By CLIFFORD KRAUSS and STANLEY REED

As oil prices have continued their steady decline this year, rig after rig has been shut down, costing thousands of jobs in the United States. Yet major oil producers have been loath to pull the plug on their most ambitious projects — the multibillion-dollar investments that form the backbone of their operations.

Until now. On Monday, Royal Dutch Shell ended its expensive and fruitless nine-year effort to explore for oil in the Alaskan Arctic — a $7 billion investment — in another sign that the entire industry is trimming its ambitions in the wake of collapsing oil prices. read more

Shell abandons Alaska Arctic drilling

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Terry MacalisterMonday 28 September 2015 18.29 BST

Barry Gardiner, Labour’s new shadow minister for energy and climate change, said Shell had been engaged in a fool’s errand. “(Potentially) desecrating one of the world’s last wildernesses shows a complete failure of moral leadership at the head of the company. If his investors are not calling for Ben van Beurden’s head, now that the company has suffered a $4.1bn loss then his board certainly should be.”

FULL ARTICLE

Shell move dims oil prospects, delights environmentalists

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Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 23.21.47ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its long quest to become the first company to produce oil in Alaska’s Arctic waters, darkening the nation’s long-term oil prospects and delighting environmental groups that tried to block the project.

After years of effort, Shell is leaving the region “for the foreseeable future” because it failed to find enough oil to make further drilling worthwhile.

The company has spent more than $7 billion on the effort, slogged through a regulatory gauntlet and fought environmental groups that feared a spill in the harsh climate would be difficult to clean up and devastating to polar bears, walruses, seals and other wildlife. read more

Shell pulls plug on Arctic drilling campaign

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Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 23.33.36By ETAIN LAVELLE FOR THE DAILY MAILPUBLISHED: 22:22, 28 September 2015

To the delight of eco-warriors worldwide, Shell pulled the plug on its Arctic drilling campaign, taking a £2.7billion hit on the controversial venture that was persistently undermined by the prolonged oil price weakness and fierce opposition from ecological activists.

Although an exploratory well showed indications of oil and gas in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, Shell blamed high costs associated with the project as well as the ‘challenging and unpredictable’ regulatory environment as it shelved its drilling plans for the foreseeable future. read more

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