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Shell Delays Alaska Exploration After Oil Spill in U.S. Gulf

“Despite our investment in acreage and technology and our work with the stakeholders, we haven’t been able to drill a single exploration well,” Voser told reporters today on a conference call. “Critical permits continue to be delayed and the timeline for getting these permits is still uncertain.”

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL CEO PETER VOSER

Bloomberg

By Eduard Gismatullin – Feb 3, 2011 12:19 PM GMT+0000

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, will delay its drilling campaign in Alaska after the worst U.S. oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

Shell hasn’t received full clearance to start drilling off the coast of Alaska, according to Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser. The company decided to postpone its plans to spend as much as $150 million in the region until 2012.

“Despite our investment in acreage and technology and our work with the stakeholders, we haven’t been able to drill a single exploration well,” Voser told reporters today on a conference call. “Critical permits continue to be delayed and the timeline for getting these permits is still uncertain.”

The Hague-based company last year asked the U.S. Interior Department for a permit to conduct exploratory drilling this year in the Beaufort Sea. Shell in 2008 offered $2.1 billion for drilling rights in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska.

Alaska may hold the second-biggest U.S. oil and gas reserves after the Gulf, according to government estimates.

Shell in November said it had planned to limit the effect on wildlife from exploration in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, meeting the concerns of environmental campaigners.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at [email protected]

SOURCE ARTICLE

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