By October 13, 2015 Read More →

Shell drilling vessels leave Arctic waters after company ends oil exploration off Alaska

Shell spent $7B on Arctic offshore exploration


Shell vessels leave Alaska after disappointing results in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.  Shell photo by Judy Patrick.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Vessels used by Royal Dutch Shell PLC to drill for oil off Alaska have safely departed Arctic waters.

The company announced Sept. 28 it would cease further exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas after spending upward of $7 billion on Arctic offshore exploration.

Disappointing results from an exploratory well drilled in the Chukchi and the unpredictable federal regulatory environment were cited as reasons for abandoning the project.

Shell experienced transit problems with vessels the last time it drilled off Alaska in 2012.

The Kulluk broke loose from its tow vessel in gale-force winds and ran aground near Kodiak Island. And the Noble Discoverer was fined $12.2 million for violating pollution and safety laws.

Spokesman Curtis Smith says both vessels used this year safely reached an Aleutian Islands port. One vessel has departed for Washington state.

The Canadian Press

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