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Delays Exploring for Alaska Oil Waste Tax Dollars, Shell Says

By Katarzyna Klimasinska – Jul 27, 2011 3:30 PM GMT+0100

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), blocked from exploring on federal leases off Alaska valued at more than $2 billion, said four years of government delays may be “irresponsible” and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

The company needs about 35 U.S. permits to start drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. The area may produce about 700,000 barrels of oil per day for 40 years, Peter Slaiby, Shell Alaska’s vice president, said in remarks prepared for a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing today.

Shell, based in The Hague, is awaiting approval from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement to drill as many as two wells a year in the Beaufort Sea and as many as three a year in the Chukchi Sea from 2012 through 2013.

“Delays are frustrating and disappointing — you might even say irresponsible,” Slaiby said in his remarks. “Endless delays by our government are wasteful to the taxpayer and should not be tolerated.”

The Environmental Protection Agency issued draft air permits for the company’s Arctic exploration this month after prior approvals were appealed by environmental organizations.

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katarzyna Klimasinska in Washington at [email protected];

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at [email protected]

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