Shell abandons controversial Arctic drilling

EvanEnvironment, Good News0 Comments

Image courtesy of Alan Berner, The Seattle Times


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Shell officially abandoned its maligned efforts to drill for oil off the northwest coast of Alaska, apparently due to displeasing results from exploratory wells. Though they had found “indications of oil and gas,” according to a report from The New York Timesthe company now says that the repositories are not substantial enough to be worth further exploration and harvesting.

“Shell will now cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future,” said Marvin Odum, director of Shell Upstream Americas. “This decision reflects both the Burger J well result, the high costs associated with the project, and the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.”

Falling oil prices and environmental protests have made operations difficult for Shell

Greenpeace UK director John Sauven stated: “Big oil has sustained an unmitigated defeat. They had a budget of billions, we had a movement of millions. For three years we faced them down, and the people won. The Save the Arctic movement has exacted a huge reputational price from Shell for its Arctic drilling program. And as the company went another year without striking oil, that price finally became too high. They’re pulling out.”

Big oil fueled the industry of our past to get us to where we are today. But it cannot be the way of the future. Civilization’s rapid technological and mechanical advancement during the past two centuries has come at a cost of atmospheric CO2 levels that haven’t been so high in 4 billion years. If we want to leave behind a planet fit for our children and grandchildren, if we want to avoid the next mass wildlife extinction event, if we want to keep sea levels from rising dozens of feet, if we want our generation’s legacy to be anything less than rampant disregard… then we need to continue to push back against the oil industry and transition towards renewable energy. Read more about climate change here.