The environmental group Oceana has obtained a copy of a letter from Shell to the U.S. Dept of the Interior revealing that the oil giant is seeking to pause Shell’s leases for five years. Approval would effectively extend the current drilling deadlines. Shell’s plans to drill off the Alaska coast have already been heavily delayed by a series of avoidable mishaps, initially caused by negligence and incompetence, and subsequently by a desire to evade tax.
Extracts from a related Bloomberg article:
Shell Seeks 5 More Years for Arctic Oil Drilling Drive
Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) is asking the Obama administration for five more years to explore for oil off Alaska’s coast, saying set backs and legal delays may push the start of drilling past the 2017 expiration of some leases.
Shell, which has spent eight years and $6 billion to explore the Arctic’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas, said in letter to the Interior Department that “prudent” exploration before leases expire is now “severely challenged.”
“Despite Shell’s best efforts and demonstrated diligence, circumstances beyond Shell’s control have prevented, and are continuing to prevent, Shell from completing even the first exploration well in either area,” Peter Slaiby, vice president of Shell Alaska, wrote to the regional office of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.