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Shell vows to tame Arctic

Shell’s chief executive has vowed that a string of embarrassing mishaps will not derail its controversial $5 billion Arctic drilling campaign. He said: “We will not be distracted by being in the crossfire.

THE TIMES

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 1 2013: Page 45

Tim Webb. Katherine Griffiths

Shell’s chief executive has vowed that a string of embarrassing mishaps will not derail its controversial $5 billion Arctic drilling campaign.

Dismissing the grounding of its Kulluk drilling rig in Alaska on New Year’s Eve as a “marine incident”, Peter Voser said that he was convinced that Shell would eventually exploit the Arctic region’s vast deposits.

He said: “We will not be distracted by being in the crossfire. We are quite used to that I’m convinced that Alaska in general will be developed and by companies who have the tech- nology and operating procedures like we have. I see Shell operating in Alaska in the future.”

But he hinted that plans to spud its first offshore well in the region this . summer, originally scheduled for last year, may be delayed again as the US authorities continued to investigate Shell’s readiness for the operation. “In a 4O-year time frame, one year’s drilling, does that matter? No.”

The Kulluk, one of two specialist rigs Shell planned to use for drilling, ran aground on rocks in Alaska dur- ing a storm. It took more than a week before rescue tugs were able to start towing it to safety and the extent of the damage is still being assessed.

Shell delayed drilling from last summer after a spill containment dome was damaged during testing, while the US Coast Guard has raised

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