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Posts Tagged ‘Chukchi Sea’

Large cruise ship voyage through Arctic ice rekindles rows

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Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 21.48.04Terry MacalisterSaturday 13 August 2016 07.00 BST

Arguments around the Arctic have more recently centred on oil company drilling such as Shell’s controversial and now abandoned attempts to explore off the coast of Alaska and new plans to open up the Norwegian far north.

But the increasing scope for industrialising the region as the ice melts has also triggered geopolitical tensions and talk of a new cold war because the legal status of who owns what up there is uncertain.


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Shell Returns To Unalaska

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Shell Returns To Unalaska

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Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 15.52.57By ZOE SOBEL: Saturday 6 August 2016

Shell is back in Unalaska. Dutch Harbor was a staging area for Shell’s unsuccessful search for oil in the Arctic Ocean last year. This week, three ships — the Aiviq, the Dino Chouest, and the Ross Chouest — associated with Shell’s Arctic efforts arrived in Unalaska on a mission to remove the last signs of that effort.

A Shell representative says the vessels are “tasked with retrieving more than 50 anchors from the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas” and “completing required environmental science monitoring and reporting.”

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Getting Ready for Another Round of Commodity Market Downturn

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By Staff Writer on Jul 18, 2016 at 7:30 am EST

Crude oil prices have dropped below the $50 per barrel mark yet again after hitting their highest level in 2016 last month. US crude benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is trading at $45.97 per barrel while Brent is trading at $47.69 per barrel in European Markets today. The global crude oil benchmark reached as high as $52.51 per barrel earlier in June.

Although oil prices have recovered some momentum after touching 12-year lows of $27 per barrel earlier in 2016, it still has a lot of ground to gain before reaching summer-2014 levels. Oil market showed some positive gains in June when oil prices crossed the psychological barrier of $50 per barrel. However, it was short-lived as it is currently trading below $48 per barrel.

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Shell’s LNG Canada venture again delays export terminal decision

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Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 15.59.39Shell’s LNG Canada venture again delays export terminal decision

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc RDSa.L and its LNG Canada partners have once again pushed back the timing of a decision on building a British Columbia liquefied natural gas export (LNG) terminal, the latest setback for the Canadian province’s energy ambitions.

LNG Canada, whose participants also include PetroChina Co Ltd 601857.SS, Mitsubishi Corporation 8058.T and Kogas, cited global industry challenges, including capital constraints, for requiring more time prior to making a final investment decision.

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Shell forfeits Arctic leases once worth $2b

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Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 08.42.36By Liz Ruskin, APRN: May 10, 2016

Shell is giving back all but one of its leases in the Chukchi Sea.

The announcement comes seven months after Shell said it was halting exploration in Alaska’s offshore Arctic for the foreseeable future.

Gov. Bill Walker calls the news “disappointing.”

Michael LeVine, Pacific senior counsel for the conservation group Oceana, says the lease-surrenders underscore Shell’s exit.

“They’re significant because they really call to an end this era of exploration, at least in the Chukchi Sea,” he said.

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Big Oil Abandons $2.5 Billion in U.S. Arctic Drilling Rights

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Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 08.42.36Jennifer A Dlouhy: May 10, 2016

Drillers forfeit millions of acres amid slump in oil prices

Royal Dutch Shell still holding on to one lease in Chukchi Sea

After plunking down more than $2.5 billion for drilling rights in U.S. Arctic waters, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips and other companies have quietly relinquished claims they once hoped would net the next big oil discovery.

The pullout comes as crude oil prices have plummeted to less than half their June 2014 levels, forcing oil companies to slash spending. For Shell and ConocoPhillips, the decision to abandon Arctic acreage was formalized just before a May 1 due date to pay the U.S. government millions of dollars in rent to keep holdings in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska.

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Shell gives up on all but one Chukchi Sea lease

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Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 08.42.36Shell gives up on all but one Chukchi Sea lease

Yereth Rosen: Alaska Dispatch News: May 9, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell has decided to give up all but one of its federal offshore leases in the Chukchi Sea, bringing what appears to be an anticlimactic end to its multibillion-dollar effort to turn those icy Arctic waters off northwestern Alaska into a new oil-producing frontier.

“After extensive consideration and evaluation, we have made the decision to relinquish all but one of our federal offshore leases in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. This action is consistent with our earlier decision not to explore offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future,” company spokesman Curtis Smith said in an email on Monday.

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Should Shell have looked west for its Arctic Ocean fortune?

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That’s the hypothesis of David Houseknecht, one of the region’s foremost geologists and project chief for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Energy Resources Program for Alaska.

Other experts say the idea helps explain why public well results and rock chips have shown a large amount of gas in the reservoir but limited evidence of oil. Unlike Alaska politicians who jumped at the chance to blame federal regulations for Shell’s decision to abandon the Arctic, the scientists say the answer is simply a matter of geology — the oil just wasn’t there in big volumes.  

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Time to End ‘Blood Oil’ Disaster in the Niger Delta

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By Richard SteinerProfessor and conservation biologist, Oasis Earth ( 10 MARCH 2016

The Niger Delta’s legendary “blood oil” disaster has persisted for decades, and is now deepening. Oil in the Delta fuels a dangerous mix of environmental devastation, a violent militancy that has killed thousands, human rights abuses, corporate greed and exploitation, epidemic corruption, massive oil theft, sabotage, repression, poverty, anger and despair. It is time to put an end to this ongoing atrocity, once and for all.

The 30,000 square mile Niger Delta — including rich coastal waters, islands, mangroves swamps, and rainforests — was once one of the most productive and diverse ecological habitats on Earth. But today, after 60 years of oil extraction, the region’s environment and society are devastated — a textbook example of the “oil curse.

The Delta is arguably the most severely oil-damaged environment anywhere in the world. A decade ago, our team of scientists conducting an oil damage assessment in the Delta estimated that each year, some 250,000 barrels (10 million gallons) of oil spill there, an amount comparable to that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska — each year for 50 years. Oil operations have also caused extensive habitat degradation from road building, forest clearing, dredging and filling, thousands miles of pipelines, and chronic pollution from gas flaring and drilling wastes.

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The world’s most hated company: can NGOs help turn Shell’s reputation around?

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While Shell’s plummeting profits are partially due to the falling price of oil, the years of negative publicity surrounding the company have likely also had an effect…

Alison MoodieSaturday 6 February 2016 14.00 GMT

In mid-2015, Shell realized its project in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska, was in trouble. After nearly a decade of expensive drilling, it still hadn’t yielded results and increasingly strict regulations were making it harder to operate. Plus, there was the small issue of public opinion, which, inspired by an aggressive campaign by Greenpeace, was turning against the company. 

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Shell the company most criticised by campaigners

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Sunday 17 JAN 2016

German carmaker Volkswagen was one of the “most disliked” companies for pressure groups last year following its emissions scandal, a survey has found.

Shell was the most criticised by campaigners, followed by Monsanto, which makes genetically modified food.

Half of the top-10 most criticised companies on Sigwatch’s list were energy firms, because of “the elephant in the room – climate change,” Mr Blood said.

Top was Shell, but TransCanada, ExxonMobil, EDF and BP also featured.

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Shell lease requests offshore Alaska face scrutiny

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Shell is challenging a decision by the federal government to deny its request to suspend leases in the Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska that would expire in 2017 and 2020. Federal leases expire at the end of their terms unless operators are engaged in drilling or related activity.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan. 14 (UPI) — A group of environmental activists filed a challenge to leases held by Royal Dutch Shell in Alaskan waters, citing the need to act on behalf of the climate.

Earthjustice, working on behalf of eight conservation groups, including the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, filed to intervene in decisions before the Department of Interior regarding Shell’s leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.

“The Arctic Ocean is ground zero for climate change, and drilling in such a sensitive region threatens the whales, seals and countless other wildlife that call it home,” Earthjustice attorney Erik Grafe said in a statement.

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Royal Dutch Shell Terminates Rig Contract with Transocean

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By Mushhood Khan on Dec 28, 2015 at 9:07 am EST

Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) has terminated its rig contract with Transocean for the harsh environment semi-submersible rig, Polar Pioneer. The contract was initially scheduled to expire in 2017, but was rescinded today i.e. December 28. Transocean said in a press release that it would be compensated “for the early termination through a lump-sum payment.”

The contract for the Polar Pioneer rig was awarded to Transocean in 2013 at a $620,000 day-rate. The Polar Pioneer rig was a part of Shell’s controversial drilling project in the Arctic Ocean. It was used in the Burger J prospect in the Chukchi Sea, 70 miles from the village of Wainwright.

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Shell working to protect assets offshore Alaska

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Dutch supermajor notes the challenge does not equate to a resumption of drilling activity.

By Daniel J. Graeber: Dec. 17, 2015

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (UPI) — While Royal Dutch Shell said it aims to protect its drilling rights in the Arctic waters offshore Alaska, it said drilling was off the table for the foreseeable future.

Royal Dutch Shell in October said it was considering its options when the Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement denied its request to suspend leases in Arctic Alaskan waters that expire between 2017 and 2020. Leases expire at the end of their terms unless operators are engaged in drilling or related activity.

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Shell Bid Aims to Preserve U.S. Drilling Rights in Arctic Ocean

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 16.53.51Jennifer A Dlouhy: December 15, 2015:

  • Oil company files appeal challenging rejection by Interior

  • Clock now ticking on oil and gas leases expiring in 2020

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Royal Dutch Shell Plc is fighting to preserve U.S. drilling rights in Arctic waters three months after halting exploration indefinitely there because it failed to find meaningful oil or natural gas deposits.

Europe’s largest oil company filed a notice of appeal Tuesday challenging the U.S. Interior Department’s Oct. 29 rejection of the company’s requests to stop the clock on Arctic oil and gas leases that otherwise expire between 2017 and 2020. The dispute is expected to undergo an administrative review, possibly delaying a final judgment until after a new U.S. president takes office.

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Royal Dutch Shell’s Management Wants You to Know These 5 Key Things

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Royal Dutch Shell’s Management Wants You to Know These 5 Key Things

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Last quarter was a pretty rough one for Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B). The company was forced to take more than $7.9 billion in charges to the income statement to write down some abandoned development projects, and its oil and gas production in the Americas continues to be a bit of a headache. 

Management was well aware of how these results looked, and so on its most recent conference call its executives acknowledged these weaknesses but also had some things to say that any investor in Shell should be aware of. Here are five quotes from the most recent conference call that provide some juicy tidbits into how to view this company over the long term.

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Economics, not just regulation, sidelined Shell’s offshore Alaska drilling plans

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Dermot ColeDecember 8, 2015

Fresh assertions that the Obama administration smothered Shell’s Arctic dreams followed the news that Statoil gave up on its leases, the second company to abandon plans to look for oil in the Chukchi Sea.

Citing market conditions and noting the leases “are no longer considered competitive within Statoil’s global portfolio,” the Norwegian company announced its withdrawal plans Nov. 17. The company had long taken a cautious approach in the region, using Shell as a bellwether. Earlier this year it had scaled back its plans to drill in the Barents Sea because of low oil prices.

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Report: Political pressure prompted hasty environmental review of Shell’s Arctic play

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Yereth RosenBen AndersonDecember 7, 2015

Regulators hoping to avoid criticism and potential congressional backlash rushed an environmental review of offshore Arctic oil development to ensure that Royal Dutch Shell would be able to drill this year, said a report issued Monday by a federal watchdog agency.

The investigation, conducted by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of the Inspector General, was launched in response to complaints from Bureau of Ocean Energy Management employees who worked on a rewrite of the supplemental environmental impact statement for oil leasing in the remote Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast.

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Shell Forced to Scale Back Ambitions

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47By James StaffordThu, 26 November 2015

As with most oil companies, 2015 has been a rough year for Royal Dutch Shell. The Anglo-Dutch company reported a third quarter loss of $6 billion, which included $7.9 billion in impairment charges.

During its third quarter earnings call, Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden summed up the company’s strategy, emphasizing restraint. “Grow to simplify” is how he put it. What that means in practice is scrapping the Arctic campaign; pulling out of the expensive Carmon Creek oil sands project in Canada; shedding assets in the less desirable parts of North American shale; selling assets elsewhere around the world, including Nigeria; and focusing on its merger with BG, which is a big bet on LNG.

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Shell’s top Arctic exec is retiring, will join KBR board

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Posted on November 10, 2015 | By Joshua Cain

After Royal Dutch Shell scuttled its $7 billion Arctic drilling program in September, the company’s top executive on the project is moving on.

Ann Pickard, Shell’s executive vice president in the Arctic, will retire from the company in February 2016, Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh said Tuesday.

She will also join the board at Houston-based engineering and construction giant KBR Inc. in December, the company said on Tuesday.

Pickard was appointed to the Arctic after Shell’s program there foundered in 2012, when the rig the company contracted for the job, the Kulluk, crashed into an Alaskan island.

Shell ended its second attempt in the Arctic on Sept. 28 after the exploratory well it drilled in Alaskan waters of the Chukchi Sea failed to find significant amounts of oil and gas.

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Shell describes Arctic drilling project as a good prospect that just didn’t work out

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Associated Press: Nov. 3, 2015

LONDON (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says the company will reflect on its decision to consider drilling off the coast of Alaska but voiced his regret that the prospect couldn’t be made to work out.

Van Beurden told reporters Tuesday as Shell updated its strategy that it would examine the decision to pursue offshore drilling in Arctic waters. Shell reported a third-quarter loss of $7.4 billion last week as it re-organized and cancelled projects, including drilling in Alaska amid sharp drops in the price of oil.

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Shell leaves door open for future exploration in Alaska’s Arctic

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Jennifer A. Dlouhy | Houston Chronicle: November 2, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45WASHINGTON — 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 Alaska offshore exploration “for the foreseeable future,” CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters Thursday.

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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.

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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.

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U.S. Cancels Remaining Arctic Oil Lease Sales Under Obama

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Brian Wingfield and Joe Carroll: BLOOMBERG.COM: 17 October 2015

The U.S. Interior Department effectively halted drilling off Alaska’s coast for the remainder of President Barack Obama’s term by canceling two sales of Arctic oil and gas leases.

The decision comes less than a month after Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it would indefinitely cease exploration in the region as the company didn’t find sufficient quantities of oil or gas in a Chukchi Sea drilling zone.

“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 on Friday.

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US curbs Arctic offshore oil and gas drilling

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The US government has announced new curbs on oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters off Alaska’s northern coast.

It comes after oil giant Royal Dutch Shell last month stopped its Arctic activity citing “disappointing” tests.

The US interior department said it was cancelling two potential Arctic offshore lease sales and would not extend current leases.

The announcement has been welcomed by environmentalists.

Miyoko Sakashita, of the Center for Biological Diversity, said the decision was “great for the Arctic and its polar bears”.

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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.

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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.

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The risks of wildcatting in the Arctic

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31A former Shell Oil executive and catastrophic risk expert on the nightmare scenario when oil and ice mix.

by Lauren Ellis @lauren_jellis: October 15, 2015

Two drill vessels officially left Arctic waters after Royal Dutch Shell announced that the company would cease exploration in the Chuckchi and Beaufort seas. After a $7 billion investment and a standoff with kayaktivists, Shell cited a “disappointing exploration outcome,” meaning there’s oil in the Arctic, but not enough where they drilled to justify the cost. It’s a classic industry gamble called wildcatting: oil companies invest in an unexplored area hoping to strike black gold in the hidden reservoirs thousands of feet below the surface.

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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.

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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.

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Shell’s Arctic drill rigs make final Alaska stop

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Laurel AndrewsOctober 12, 2015

Two weeks after announcing the end of its Arctic offshore oil exploration program, Royal Dutch Shell’s Noble Discoverer drillship left Dutch Harbor Monday afternoon, the last planned stop in Alaska as it heads to the Pacific Northwest.

The company’s second drilling rig that had arrived in Alaska this summer, the Transocean Polar Pioneer, is close behind.

The Noble Discoverer arrived in Dutch Harbor Sunday, said Shell Alaska spokesperson Megan Baldino. During the stop, both rigs had a crew change and resupply of fuel and groceries.

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Alaska mulls extra oil drilling to cope with climate change

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By Matt McGrath: Environment correspondent, BBC News, Alaska: 12 Oct 2015

Expanding the search for oil is necessary to pay for the damage caused by climate change, the Governor of Alaska has told the BBC.

The state is suffering significant climate impacts from rising seas forcing the relocation of remote villages.

Governor Bill Walker says that coping with these changes is hugely expensive.

He wants to “urgently” drill in the protected lands of the Arctic National Wilderness Refuge to fund them.

Alaska has been severely hit by the dramatic drop in the price of oil over the past two years.

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Environmentalists ramp up resistance to big oil

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Environmental groups have become emboldened by their perceived triumph over Shell in the Arctic, in which they refined new tactics. What impact might this decision have on the future green movement in the United States?

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Environmental organizations celebrated when Royal Dutch Shell announced it was halting oil and gas explorations in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea “for the foreseeable future.” Activists heralded the move as an unprecedented victory for their campaign to stop drilling: They managed to shut down a fossil fuels project, they claimed.

However, the oil giant is adamant that environmental groups played no role in its decision to leave the Arctic. A spokesperson confirmed to DW that the company withdrew for economic and legislative reasons, stating that the Burger J well didn’t contain enough oil to develop a viable commercial project.

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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.

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Aggressive bidding after reserves scandal put Shell on path to Arctic disappointment

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$7 billion bust in the Arctic Ocean

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31By Jennifer A. Dlouhy: 5 Oct 2015

WASHINGTON — Shell’s dreams of an Arctic oil bonanza were dashed with disappointing results from a critical exploratory well this summer, but they were in full force seven years ago, when the company aggressively outbid competitors to nab drilling rights in the Chukchi Sea.

Reeling from a scandal involving overstated reserves and desperate to replenish its portfolio, Royal Dutch Shell spent $2.1 billion buying up those Chukchi Sea leases, vastly outspending the competitors who plunked down just $800 million combined in the same government auction.

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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.

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Shell may post loss after taking £2.7bn Arctic exploration hit

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Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 14.26.20Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden told The Mail on Sunday just two weeks ago that he was committed to the Arctic

By Jon Rees For The Mail On Sunday: 4 Oct 2015

Shell is set to reveal that quitting the Arctic cost it up to $4.1billion (£2.7billion) in its third-quarter results when it unveils them later this month – in a move that could push the oil giant into reporting a loss.

The firm took investors and its environmental opponents by surprise when it announced last week that it would end its drilling programme in the Chukchi Sea, 150 miles off the north-west coast of Alaska.

It said it had found indications of oil and gas but not enough to justify further exploration.

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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.

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A rig too far

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Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 14.19.16Ben van Beurden, installed as Shell’s chief executive in 2014, could have halted the ill-fated project. But after a “personal journey”, he decided to go ahead.

Shell’s retreat from the frozen north shows the new realities of “big oil”: Reputation was another factor in Shell’s retreat

Oct 3rd 2015 | HOUSTON | From the print edition

OIL companies have a proud history of digging holes in inaccessible places and producing gushers of money. But in the Chukchi Sea, in the Alaskan Arctic, Shell has poured $7 billion into a single 6,800-foot exploratory well, making it possibly the most expensive hole yet drilled, only to admit this week that it had not found enough oil and gas to make further exploration worthwhile.

That was a big climbdown for a company that had spent seven years since acquiring the Chukchi licenses in 2008 in a highly public, drawn-out battle to drill in the Arctic. The decision boiled down to costs, financial and reputational. Most big oil firms face similar pressures. Some will take a lesson from Shell and put their Arctic plans on hold, though Eni, a big Italian oil firm, is vowing to press ahead with its efforts to drill in the Norwegian Arctic.

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Emma Thompson joins Greenpeace to celebrate Shell scrapping Arctic drilling

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Emma Thompson joins Greenpeace to celebrate Shell scrapping Arctic drilling

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By Charlotte Krol, and PA, video source YouTube / Greenpeace29 Sep 2015

Actress Emma Thompson has joined activists outside the headquarters of Shell to celebrate news that the oil giant is pulling out of drilling in the Arctic.

Greenpeace has been protesting against the company’s attempts to explore for fossil fuels off the coast of Alaska, including parking a double-decker bus-sized polar bear puppet outside the company’s London HQ for the last month.

The company said it would cease exploration in the region for the foreseeable future after failing to find sufficient signs of oil and gas to make further exploration worthwhile, blaming high costs and a “challenging and unpredictable regulatory environment”.

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Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic Bucket Of Ice Has Melted, Yield Is Now North Of 8%

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* The Burger J well test results were a dud, no major reserves found.

* Shell puts Arctic drilling on hold indefinitely, which further reduces future capex.

* Dividend yield tops the 8% mark.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A / RDS.B) was always upbeat about the prospects of drilling in the Arctic, targeting resources that could be 10 times greater than the sum of oil and gas produced so far in the North Sea. Somewhat puzzling, the Anglo-Dutch multinational pressed on with its plans even though rivals Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), BP (NYSE:BP), Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and ConocoPhilips (NYSE:COP) had all suspended activity in the area.

Despite big concerns from environmentalists and shareholders, and earlier misadventures in the region, the company argued it was just too big a prize to avoid the Arctic.

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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.


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.

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Shell Exits Arctic as Oil Slump Forces Industry to Retrench

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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.

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Shell Abruptly Abandons Arctic Drilling, Finding It Too Costly

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After a season spent drilling an exploratory oil well in one of the harshest environments on Earth, Royal Dutch Shell announced Monday morning it was abandoning its attempt to develop the Alaskan Arctic “for the foreseeable future.”

The exploratory well 150 miles offshore in the Chukchi Sea did not turn up enough oil to warrant the expensive and “unpredictable” enterprise, Shell said in a statement. It will be sealed and abandoned “in accordance with U.S. regulations,” the company said.

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These 2 charts explain why Shell stopped drilling in Alaska

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40It’s all about oil prices.

Royal Dutch Shell said Monday it will stop drilling for oil off Alaska’s coast. The move comes after Shell failed to discover a noteworthy amount of undersea oil in a well off northern Alaska despite spending $7 billion on exploration efforts.

The decision will undoubtedly please the many environmentalists who were against the project from the start. But their protests aren’t the reason Shell is calling it quits in Alaska. Instead, Shell’s decision was economic: The price of oil has dropped precipitously over the past year, meaning it’s getting much harder to make a profit on the stuff.

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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.

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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.

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Shell has made a costly call to abandon Alaska

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Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 14.19.16Kamal AhmedBusiness editor: 28 Sept 2015

It could have been Hillary Clinton’s tweet that did it.

Just after the US government had given the go-ahead for Shell to restart its exploration in Alaska, the Democratic presidential candidate took to the social media site.

“The Arctic is a unique treasure,” Mrs Clinton said on Twitter. “Given what we know now, it’s not worth the risk of drilling.”

Which seemed to ignore the fact that drilling has been taking place in the Arctic for decades – for example oil was first discovered in one of the main basins, Prudhoe Bay, in 1968.

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