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Permits for Arctic drilling to take time-Shell CEO

Fri May 20, 2011

INTERLAKEN, Switzerland May 20 (Reuters) – Oil major Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote) expects the approval process for an exploratory drilling programme for Arctic waters off Alaska to take some time, Chief Executive Peter Voser said on Friday.

“We plan to drill up to 10 wells in 2012 and 2013. We are in the process for applying for the so-called permits, but this is going to take some time,” Voser said on the sidelines of the Swiss Economic Forum in Interlaken, Switzerland.

Voser reiterated that he did not expect drilling to start before 2012.

Shell has been trying to revive its Arctic exploration programme after strong opposition from local and environmental groups stymied previous drilling plans in the area.

Voser declined to comment on the BP (BP.L: Quote)’s collapsed deal with Rosneft (ROSN.MM: Quote).

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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