Greenpeace claims victory as Shell suffers Arctic oil-drilling setback
Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it has abandoned plans to drill into Arctic oil reservoirs for this year.
That news has Greenpeace claiming victory in its high-profile campaign to create an international sanctuary in the Arctic Ocean.
"For over six months, huge numbers of us have been pressuring Shell to stay out of the Arctic," Greenpeace's Ben Ayliffe wrote in a blog post today (September 17). "Well this morning, company bosses announced they were scrapping their oil drilling programme for this year. It's a huge victory for people power."
In a news release today, Shell said it has revised its 2012-13 plans for oil exploration off the coast of Alaska. The company noted that its containment dome had been damaged during tests.
"In order to lay a strong foundation for operations in 2013, we will forgo drilling into hydrocarbon zones this year," the company said. "Instead, we will begin as many wells, known as ‘top holes,’ as time remaining in this season allows. The top portion of the wells drilled in the days and weeks ahead will be safely capped and temporarily abandoned this year, in accordance with regulatory requirements."
According to Reuters, Shell's U.S. offshore Arctic expedition has cost the company US$4.5 billion since 2005.