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Despite Seattle Protests Royal Dutch Shell Remains Defiant In Its Arctic Drilling Plans

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: May 20, 2015

The protests against Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) plans to drill in the Arctic have been going on for days in Seattle. The city’s port has seen hundreds of demonstrators including environmental groups and city residents protesting on kayaks and canoes to oppose Arctic drilling, as well as the presence of Shell’s rigs in Seattle waters. Shell wants to drill in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska.

On Tuesday however, Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden said that despite the ongoing protests, the company will proceed with its Arctic drilling plans this summer. He also rejected claims that Shell was using the Seattle port unlawfully, Reuters reports.

Protesting environmental activists have warned that the oil giant’s plans to explore for oil in the Arctic this summer could result in an ecological disaster. They are showing their opposition to Shell’s move by trying to obstruct the company’s rigs from entering the port. Environmental groups are concerned that drilling in a remote area with extreme weather conditions like the Arctic could lead to accidents, and make rescue and cleanup efforts very difficult. The Arctic region has a delicate environment which is covered in sea ice that helps control global climate.

At the company’s annual general meeting in The Hague, Mr. Beurden told investors that the contract Shell has with maritime contractor Fos and the latter’s lease in terminal 5 were legal and that they had tested it. He said that the company will proceed with docking its Polar Pioneer rig there to get it ready for its destination in Alaska. He added that although there were protests, the company faced no legal impediments to those plans.

Protesting environmental activists have warned that the oil giant’s plans to explore for oil in the Arctic this summer could result in an ecological disaster. They are showing their opposition to Shell’s move by trying to obstruct the company’s rigs from entering the port. Environmental groups are concerned that drilling in a remote area with extreme weather conditions like the Arctic could lead to accidents, and make rescue and cleanup efforts very difficult. The Arctic region has a delicate environment which is covered in sea ice that helps control global climate.

At the company’s annual general meeting in The Hague, Mr. Beurden told investors that the contract Shell has with maritime contractor Fos and the latter’s lease in terminal 5 were legal and that they had tested it. He said that the company will proceed with docking its Polar Pioneer rig there to get it ready for its destination in Alaska. He added that although there were protests, the company faced no legal impediments to those plans.

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