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Shell offers spill system in Alaska

Financial Times

By Sheila McNulty in Houston Published: October 10 2010

Royal Dutch Shell  is offering to spend “tens and tens of millions of dollars” building an oil spill containment system for Arctic conditions if the US government permits it to drill offshore Alaska.

The bid is a last-ditch effort by Shell to advance a $3.5bn investment it has made to drill in Alaska.

Pete Slaiby, Shell Alaska vice-president, warned the situation could get “acrimonious’’ if Shell took legal action to recover losses caused by government barriers to drilling on leases it had paid for. But he said he thinks Shell will gain the permits.

“The ball is in the government’s court,’’ Mr Slaiby said. “They need to step up the pace on this review.’’ Environmentalists object to Shell tacking new procedures on to its old drilling plan, given that BP’s disaster underlined how major accidents can happen.

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