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Posts under ‘Chukchi Sea’

Trump administration approves Eni plan to drill offshore Alaska

Royal Dutch Shell Plc quit its exploration quest offshore Alaska in 2015 after a ship it had leased suffered a gash in mostly uncharted waters…

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Eni US will become the first energy company allowed to explore for oil in federal waters off Alaska since 2015 after the Trump administration this week approved a drilling plan on leases the company has been sitting on for 10 years.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved the drilling plan of Eni US, a unit of Italy’s Eni on Wednesday as part of President Donald Trump’s plan to boost oil and gas drilling and make the country “energy dominant.” read more

Native corporation makes move toward exploring for oil in Arctic Ocean, where Shell failed

Author: : 10 July 2017

A subsidiary of Alaska’s wealthiest regional Native corporation is moving ahead with plans to follow in the footsteps of Shell and explore for oil in the U.S. Arctic Ocean.

The Alaska Native company, ASRC Exploration, is looking to succeed where the Dutch oil giant failed. It’s currently asking federal regulators not to cancel a block of leases once held by Shell in federal waters at Camden Bay about 15 miles off the North Slope coast northwest of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. read more

Obama’s and Trump’s useless gestures on energy

By Chris TomlinsonBusiness Columnist: Dec 22, 2016

Count on politicians to be political.

President Barack Obama banned oil drilling along the Arctic coast and in the Atlantic from Virginia to Maine on Tuesday. Citing questionable authority under an obscure 1953 law, he means to keep any oil found in either of these coastal areas in the ground.

Environmentalists cheered and oil lobbyists jeered. Both will certainly waste a lot of time and electrons writing long tracts of praising and condemning Obama. And then they’ll waste donor funds fighting it out in court. read more

Obama’s Arctic Drilling Ban Is Reversible, But The GOP And Big Oil Are Likely In No Rush To Fight It

David Blackmon: Contributor. Dec 21, 2016

The hits just keep on coming from our outgoing President. On Wednesday, Mr. Obama took one more of many parting shots at the domestic oil and gas industry at the behest of his supporters in the anti-development lobby, setting aside much of the northeastern Atlantic coast, all U.S. waters off the North Slope of Alaska in the Beaufort Sea and almost all of the federal waters in the adjacent Chukchi Sea “indefinitely off-limits for future oil and gas leasing.” read more

Obama Bans Drilling in Parts of the Atlantic and the Arctic

By CORAL DAVENPORT

President Obama announced on Tuesday what he called a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along wide areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic Seaboard as he tried to nail down an environmental legacy that cannot quickly be reversed by Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Obama invoked an obscure provision of a 1953 law, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which he said gives him the authority to act unilaterally. While some presidents have used that law to temporarily protect smaller portions of federal waters, Mr. Obama’s declaration of a permanent drilling ban on portions of the ocean floor from Virginia to Maine and along much of Alaska’s coast is breaking new ground. The declaration’s fate will almost certainly be decided by the federal courts. read more

Obama sets stage for legal fight over Arctic oil drilling

by: Shawn Donnan in Washington and Andrew Ward in London: 21 December 2016

US President Barack Obama has set the stage for a legal battle over drilling for oil and gas in Arctic seas after declaring a huge swath of those waters “indefinitely” off limits to exploration as part of a joint move with Canada.

Royal Dutch Shell, long at the forefront of exploration in Alaska, abandoned its drilling campaign there in 2015 after failing to strike oil. The Anglo-Dutch group had spent $7bn in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas since 2007, or about 20 per cent of its exploration budget. read more

Large cruise ship voyage through Arctic ice rekindles rows

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Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 21.48.04Terry MacalisterSaturday 13 August 2016 07.00 BST

Arguments around the Arctic have more recently centred on oil company drilling such as Shell’s controversial and now abandoned attempts to explore off the coast of Alaska and new plans to open up the Norwegian far north.

But the increasing scope for industrialising the region as the ice melts has also triggered geopolitical tensions and talk of a new cold war because the legal status of who owns what up there is uncertain.

FULL ARTICLE read more

Shell Returns To Unalaska

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Shell Returns To Unalaska

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Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 15.52.57By ZOE SOBEL: Saturday 6 August 2016

Shell is back in Unalaska. Dutch Harbor was a staging area for Shell’s unsuccessful search for oil in the Arctic Ocean last year. This week, three ships — the Aiviq, the Dino Chouest, and the Ross Chouest — associated with Shell’s Arctic efforts arrived in Unalaska on a mission to remove the last signs of that effort.

A Shell representative says the vessels are “tasked with retrieving more than 50 anchors from the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas” and “completing required environmental science monitoring and reporting.” read more

Shell drops legal attempt to extend offshore lease terms in the Arctic

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Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 10.21.36Shell drops legal attempt to extend offshore lease terms in the Arctic

Author: Yereth Rosen: 24 June 2016

Months after abandoning its plans for oil exploration in Arctic waters off Alaska, Royal Dutch Shell has dropped its legal effort to hold onto those offshore leases.

Shell notified the Interior Department it will no longer pursue its appeals of a decision that denied extension of the company’s oil leases in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska. The department’s Board of Land Appeals on Thursday granted Shell’s request and dismissed the case. read more

Shell forfeits Arctic leases once worth $2b

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Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 08.42.36By Liz Ruskin, APRN: May 10, 2016

Shell is giving back all but one of its leases in the Chukchi Sea.

The announcement comes seven months after Shell said it was halting exploration in Alaska’s offshore Arctic for the foreseeable future.

Gov. Bill Walker calls the news “disappointing.”

Michael LeVine, Pacific senior counsel for the conservation group Oceana, says the lease-surrenders underscore Shell’s exit.

“They’re significant because they really call to an end this era of exploration, at least in the Chukchi Sea,” he said. read more

Shell’s fleet of ancient rust buckets fit only for the scrapyard

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By John Donovan

In June 2015, I published an article by a regular contributor about the notorious Noble Discoverer, one of two drill ships used by Shell in their notorious offshore Alaska drilling campaign.

The insider described Shell’s fleet of five vessels sent into Arctic waters as ancient rust buckets fit only for the scrapyard.  

Apparently an entirely appropriate assessment, as I understand from a different source that the Noble Discover may well be on her way now to the infamous Alang shipbreaker yards in India. read more

Big Oil Abandons $2.5 Billion in U.S. Arctic Drilling Rights

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Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 08.42.36Jennifer A Dlouhy: May 10, 2016

Drillers forfeit millions of acres amid slump in oil prices

Royal Dutch Shell still holding on to one lease in Chukchi Sea

After plunking down more than $2.5 billion for drilling rights in U.S. Arctic waters, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips and other companies have quietly relinquished claims they once hoped would net the next big oil discovery.

The pullout comes as crude oil prices have plummeted to less than half their June 2014 levels, forcing oil companies to slash spending. For Shell and ConocoPhillips, the decision to abandon Arctic acreage was formalized just before a May 1 due date to pay the U.S. government millions of dollars in rent to keep holdings in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska. read more

Shell gives up on all but one Chukchi Sea lease

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Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 08.42.36Shell gives up on all but one Chukchi Sea lease

Yereth Rosen: Alaska Dispatch News: May 9, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell has decided to give up all but one of its federal offshore leases in the Chukchi Sea, bringing what appears to be an anticlimactic end to its multibillion-dollar effort to turn those icy Arctic waters off northwestern Alaska into a new oil-producing frontier.

“After extensive consideration and evaluation, we have made the decision to relinquish all but one of our federal offshore leases in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. This action is consistent with our earlier decision not to explore offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future,” company spokesman Curtis Smith said in an email on Monday. read more

Shell worries about climate change, but decides to continue making it worse

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47By Katie Herzog on 14 Mar 2016

Shell Oil released its 2015 annual review last week, and the most surprising thing in it may be how concerned the company is with climate change. It’s hardly what you’d expect from Big Oil, and yet the words “climate change” occur 15 times in the 228 page report. While this may seem minor, it’s a hell of a lot more than climate change is discussed by most other oil monsters (Looking at you, Exxon). Shell, unlike many oil giants, actively acknowledges and even embraces climate action — at least, on paper. “It was encouraging to see governments reach a global climate agreement in Paris in December,” the report reads. “The agreement should now encourage countries to develop policies that balance environmental concerns with enabling a decent quality of life for more people.” read more

Should Shell have looked west for its Arctic Ocean fortune?

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That’s the hypothesis of David Houseknecht, one of the region’s foremost geologists and project chief for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Energy Resources Program for Alaska.

Other experts say the idea helps explain why public well results and rock chips have shown a large amount of gas in the reservoir but limited evidence of oil. Unlike Alaska politicians who jumped at the chance to blame federal regulations for Shell’s decision to abandon the Arctic, the scientists say the answer is simply a matter of geology — the oil just wasn’t there in big volumes.   read more

The world’s most hated company: can NGOs help turn Shell’s reputation around?

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While Shell’s plummeting profits are partially due to the falling price of oil, the years of negative publicity surrounding the company have likely also had an effect…

Alison MoodieSaturday 6 February 2016 14.00 GMT

In mid-2015, Shell realized its project in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska, was in trouble. After nearly a decade of expensive drilling, it still hadn’t yielded results and increasingly strict regulations were making it harder to operate. Plus, there was the small issue of public opinion, which, inspired by an aggressive campaign by Greenpeace, was turning against the company.  read more

Will 2016 Be Royal Dutch Shell’s Worst Year Yet?

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There is a lot of pessimism regarding shares of Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B). Despite strong cash flow results behind its less-than-stellar earnings results, shares of Shell have been sinking faster than its Arctic drilling rigs (too soon?).

Over the past 18 months, the company has lost more than half of its market capitalization while its largest peers, ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX), have seen more modest declines.

Unlike ExxonMobil and Chevron, which are continuing with business as usual with their development plans and slowing capital budgets, Shell is also in the middle of a transformative acquisition that could shape the company’s future for decades. With that added uncertainty of what Shell will look like post BG Group merger, and oil prices in the $30 per barrel range, some investors may be wondering if 2016 will be a rough one to be a shareholder. read more

Shell lease requests offshore Alaska face scrutiny

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Shell is challenging a decision by the federal government to deny its request to suspend leases in the Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska that would expire in 2017 and 2020. Federal leases expire at the end of their terms unless operators are engaged in drilling or related activity.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan. 14 (UPI) — A group of environmental activists filed a challenge to leases held by Royal Dutch Shell in Alaskan waters, citing the need to act on behalf of the climate.

Earthjustice, working on behalf of eight conservation groups, including the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, filed to intervene in decisions before the Department of Interior regarding Shell’s leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.

“The Arctic Ocean is ground zero for climate change, and drilling in such a sensitive region threatens the whales, seals and countless other wildlife that call it home,” Earthjustice attorney Erik Grafe said in a statement. read more

Royal Dutch Shell Terminates Rig Contract with Transocean

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By Mushhood Khan on Dec 28, 2015 at 9:07 am EST

Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) has terminated its rig contract with Transocean for the harsh environment semi-submersible rig, Polar Pioneer. The contract was initially scheduled to expire in 2017, but was rescinded today i.e. December 28. Transocean said in a press release that it would be compensated “for the early termination through a lump-sum payment.”

The contract for the Polar Pioneer rig was awarded to Transocean in 2013 at a $620,000 day-rate. The Polar Pioneer rig was a part of Shell’s controversial drilling project in the Arctic Ocean. It was used in the Burger J prospect in the Chukchi Sea, 70 miles from the village of Wainwright. read more

Shell working to protect assets offshore Alaska

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Dutch supermajor notes the challenge does not equate to a resumption of drilling activity.

By Daniel J. Graeber: Dec. 17, 2015

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (UPI) — While Royal Dutch Shell said it aims to protect its drilling rights in the Arctic waters offshore Alaska, it said drilling was off the table for the foreseeable future.

Royal Dutch Shell in October said it was considering its options when the Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement denied its request to suspend leases in Arctic Alaskan waters that expire between 2017 and 2020. Leases expire at the end of their terms unless operators are engaged in drilling or related activity. read more

Shell Bid Aims to Preserve U.S. Drilling Rights in Arctic Ocean

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 16.53.51Jennifer A Dlouhy: December 15, 2015: Bloomberg.com

  • Oil company files appeal challenging rejection by Interior

  • Clock now ticking on oil and gas leases expiring in 2020

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Royal Dutch Shell Plc is fighting to preserve U.S. drilling rights in Arctic waters three months after halting exploration indefinitely there because it failed to find meaningful oil or natural gas deposits.

Europe’s largest oil company filed a notice of appeal Tuesday challenging the U.S. Interior Department’s Oct. 29 rejection of the company’s requests to stop the clock on Arctic oil and gas leases that otherwise expire between 2017 and 2020. The dispute is expected to undergo an administrative review, possibly delaying a final judgment until after a new U.S. president takes office. read more

Royal Dutch Shell’s Management Wants You to Know These 5 Key Things

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Royal Dutch Shell’s Management Wants You to Know These 5 Key Things

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Last quarter was a pretty rough one for Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B). The company was forced to take more than $7.9 billion in charges to the income statement to write down some abandoned development projects, and its oil and gas production in the Americas continues to be a bit of a headache. 

Management was well aware of how these results looked, and so on its most recent conference call its executives acknowledged these weaknesses but also had some things to say that any investor in Shell should be aware of. Here are five quotes from the most recent conference call that provide some juicy tidbits into how to view this company over the long term. read more

Economics, not just regulation, sidelined Shell’s offshore Alaska drilling plans

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Dermot ColeDecember 8, 2015

Fresh assertions that the Obama administration smothered Shell’s Arctic dreams followed the news that Statoil gave up on its leases, the second company to abandon plans to look for oil in the Chukchi Sea.

Citing market conditions and noting the leases “are no longer considered competitive within Statoil’s global portfolio,” the Norwegian company announced its withdrawal plans Nov. 17. The company had long taken a cautious approach in the region, using Shell as a bellwether. Earlier this year it had scaled back its plans to drill in the Barents Sea because of low oil prices. read more

The Inside Story of Shell’s Arctic Assault

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45A months-long investigation shows how the energy giant pressured the Interior Department during the company’s gung-ho Arctic push—and got most of what it wanted (except oil).

By Barry YeomanDecember 08, 2015

Last May, four months before the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell suspended exploration in offshore Alaska, Christopher Putnam needed to get something off his chest.

Putnam is 44, originally from Texas, a trained wildlife biologist who also served as an Army infantry sergeant during the Iraq War. For almost six years he has worked in Alaska for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, protecting marine mammals. It has been his job to ensure that Shell’s plans to drill more than 60 miles offshore in the Chukchi Sea—the wild Arctic water between Alaska and Siberia—wouldn’t harm Pacific walruses, particularly the juveniles, calves, and nursing mothers that dominate the Chukchi during the drilling season. read more

Report: Political pressure prompted hasty environmental review of Shell’s Arctic play

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Yereth RosenBen AndersonDecember 7, 2015

Regulators hoping to avoid criticism and potential congressional backlash rushed an environmental review of offshore Arctic oil development to ensure that Royal Dutch Shell would be able to drill this year, said a report issued Monday by a federal watchdog agency.

The investigation, conducted by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of the Inspector General, was launched in response to complaints from Bureau of Ocean Energy Management employees who worked on a rewrite of the supplemental environmental impact statement for oil leasing in the remote Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast. read more

Shell Forced to Scale Back Ambitions

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47By James StaffordThu, 26 November 2015

As with most oil companies, 2015 has been a rough year for Royal Dutch Shell. The Anglo-Dutch company reported a third quarter loss of $6 billion, which included $7.9 billion in impairment charges.

During its third quarter earnings call, Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden summed up the company’s strategy, emphasizing restraint. “Grow to simplify” is how he put it. What that means in practice is scrapping the Arctic campaign; pulling out of the expensive Carmon Creek oil sands project in Canada; shedding assets in the less desirable parts of North American shale; selling assets elsewhere around the world, including Nigeria; and focusing on its merger with BG, which is a big bet on LNG. read more

Shell’s top Arctic exec is retiring, will join KBR board

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Posted on November 10, 2015 | By Joshua Cain

After Royal Dutch Shell scuttled its $7 billion Arctic drilling program in September, the company’s top executive on the project is moving on.

Ann Pickard, Shell’s executive vice president in the Arctic, will retire from the company in February 2016, Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh said Tuesday.

She will also join the board at Houston-based engineering and construction giant KBR Inc. in December, the company said on Tuesday.

Pickard was appointed to the Arctic after Shell’s program there foundered in 2012, when the rig the company contracted for the job, the Kulluk, crashed into an Alaskan island.

Shell ended its second attempt in the Arctic on Sept. 28 after the exploratory well it drilled in Alaskan waters of the Chukchi Sea failed to find significant amounts of oil and gas. read more

Shell’s boss fights to keep BG deal alive as he attempts to calm jittery investors

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By LAURA CHESTERS FOR DAILY MAIL: 3 November 2015

Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden is the oil industry’s equivalent of a swan – below his calm demeanour he is furiously paddling to keep his planned £40billion mega-deal afloat.

Shell is buying rival BG Group and, to get the deal away and for it to make sense as the oil price plummets, van Beurden has taken the knife to Shell’s costs and projects.

Investors have been getting jittery as the price of oil has halved since summer 2014 and has stubbornly remained below $60 a barrel since the takeover was announced in April. Brent Crude continues to fluctuate but experts predict the price will stay ‘lower for longer’ than may have been expected.

However, van Beurden, who took on the top job last January and has a lot riding personally on the deal, promises it will still work with an oil price in the mid-$60s a barrel. Yesterday he insisted: ‘Although oil prices have fallen in 2015, the valuation case for the BG acquisition still looks compelling today for both sets of shareholders.’ read more

Shell describes Arctic drilling project as a good prospect that just didn’t work out

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Associated Press: Nov. 3, 2015

LONDON (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says the company will reflect on its decision to consider drilling off the coast of Alaska but voiced his regret that the prospect couldn’t be made to work out.

Van Beurden told reporters Tuesday as Shell updated its strategy that it would examine the decision to pursue offshore drilling in Arctic waters. Shell reported a third-quarter loss of $7.4 billion last week as it re-organized and cancelled projects, including drilling in Alaska amid sharp drops in the price of oil. read more

Shell leaves door open for future exploration in Alaska’s Arctic

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Jennifer A. Dlouhy | Houston Chronicle: November 2, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45WASHINGTON — Shell is walking away from oil exploration in Arctic waters north of Alaska, but it isn’t ready to close the door completely.

Disappointing results from a critical test well at the company’s Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, combined with the high costs of developing the region and an “unpredictable regulatory environment,” have prompted Royal Dutch Shell to cease Alaska offshore exploration “for the foreseeable future,” CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters Thursday. read more

Even as it walks away from Arctic drilling, Shell keeps door open for future work

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Posted on October 29, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Shell is walking away from oil exploration in Arctic waters north of Alaska, but it isn’t ready to close the door completely.

Disappointing results from a critical test well at the company’s Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, combined with the high costs of developing the region and an “unpredictable regulatory environment” have prompted Royal Dutch Shell “to cease further exploration activity offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future,” CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters Thursday. read more

US Follows Royal Dutch Shell plc Backs Away From Arctic Drilling

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By: Micheal KaufmanOct 19, 2015

The US Interior Department announced on Friday that it will cancel the auction of 2016 and 2017 natural gas and offshore oil leases in the Arctic Ocean. The auction was scheduled under the Department’s current five-year Chukchi Sea leasing program for 2012–2017. The division cited low crude oil prices and lack of interest from oil companies as the main reason behind its decision.

This news comes a few weeks after Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) withdrew its Arctic drilling plan. The oil giant had spent $7 billion for the Arctic campaign. It said last month that it has dropped its exploration and production (E&P) activities in the Burger prospect of the Chukchi Sea, as it found few traces of oil and natural gas in the region. The company was not satisfied with the drilling results; it had initially expected huge amount of oil traces in the Ocean. Shell has dropped all future plans of Arctic drilling for the foreseeable future. read more

Interior: No more new Arctic oil leases for remainder of Obama’s presidency

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Interior: No more new Arctic oil leases for remainder of Obama’s presidency

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Gregory Korte, USA TODAY: Oct 16, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is canceling its plans to sell oil drilling rights in the Arctic Sea through 2017, a remarkable turnaround since expanding drilling by approving new drilling permits for Shell Oil earlier this year.

But Royal Dutch Shell’s decision last month to suspend its oil exploration in offshore Alaskan waters — citing disappointing results from a well in the Chukchi Sea — prompted the Interior Department to cancel further oil leases.

“In light of Shell’s announcement, the amount of acreage already under lease and current market conditions, it does not make sense to prepare for lease sales in the Arctic in the next year and a half,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. read more

U.S. Cancels Remaining Arctic Oil Lease Sales Under Obama

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Brian Wingfield and Joe Carroll: BLOOMBERG.COM: 17 October 2015

The U.S. Interior Department effectively halted drilling off Alaska’s coast for the remainder of President Barack Obama’s term by canceling two sales of Arctic oil and gas leases.

The decision comes less than a month after Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it would indefinitely cease exploration in the region as the company didn’t find sufficient quantities of oil or gas in a Chukchi Sea drilling zone.

“In light of Shell’s announcement, the amount of acreage already under lease and current market conditions, it does not make sense to prepare for lease sales in the Arctic in the next year and a half,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement on Friday. read more

US curbs Arctic offshore oil and gas drilling

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The US government has announced new curbs on oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters off Alaska’s northern coast.

It comes after oil giant Royal Dutch Shell last month stopped its Arctic activity citing “disappointing” tests.

The US interior department said it was cancelling two potential Arctic offshore lease sales and would not extend current leases.

The announcement has been welcomed by environmentalists.

Miyoko Sakashita, of the Center for Biological Diversity, said the decision was “great for the Arctic and its polar bears”. read more

U.S. cancels Arctic offshore lease sale after Shell drops interest

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31WASHINGTON: Fri Oct 16, 2015

The U.S. Interior Department on Friday said it would cancel two potential Arctic offshore lease sales after Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSa.L) said that it was not interested in those leases.

“In light of Shell’s announcement, the amount of acreage already under lease and current market conditions, it does not make sense to prepare for lease sales in the Arctic in the next year and a half,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement.

Shell said last month it was giving up its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude oil. read more

The risks of wildcatting in the Arctic

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31A former Shell Oil executive and catastrophic risk expert on the nightmare scenario when oil and ice mix.

by Lauren Ellis @lauren_jellis: October 15, 2015

Two drill vessels officially left Arctic waters after Royal Dutch Shell announced that the company would cease exploration in the Chuckchi and Beaufort seas. After a $7 billion investment and a standoff with kayaktivists, Shell cited a “disappointing exploration outcome,” meaning there’s oil in the Arctic, but not enough where they drilled to justify the cost. It’s a classic industry gamble called wildcatting: oil companies invest in an unexplored area hoping to strike black gold in the hidden reservoirs thousands of feet below the surface. read more

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

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31DAN JOLING: Associated Press: Oct. 13, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two drill vessels employed by Royal Dutch Shell PLC off Alaska’s northwest coast have safely departed Arctic waters for the Pacific Northwest.

The 572-foot Noble Discoverer, owned by Noble Drilling U.S. LLC, reached Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands on Sunday afternoon. After a Coast Guard inspection, the vessel departed Monday for the Port of Everett in Washington state, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.

The Polar Pioneer, owned by Transocean Ltd., reached Dutch Harbor on Monday afternoon. Two tug boats accompanying the semi-submersible drilling vessel, the Ocean Wind and Ocean Wave vessel, planned to refuel and change crews. The Polar Pioneer will be towed to Port Angeles, Washington. read more

Shell Is Reeling After Pulling Out of the Arctic

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Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 09.03.21BY ANTONIA JUHASZ / OCTOBER 13, 2015

Earlier this month, Shell’s tumultuous Arctic drilling campaign came to an abrupt and costly end. In a written statement, the company announced the cessation of its offshore Alaska activities “for the foreseeable future”—at a loss of billions of dollars. This both stunned and thrilled critics, many of whom worried that the seven-year effort to stop Shell was dead in July, when the Obama administration approved the company’s permits to drill. read more

Shell’s Arctic drill rigs make final Alaska stop

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Laurel AndrewsOctober 12, 2015

Two weeks after announcing the end of its Arctic offshore oil exploration program, Royal Dutch Shell’s Noble Discoverer drillship left Dutch Harbor Monday afternoon, the last planned stop in Alaska as it heads to the Pacific Northwest.

The company’s second drilling rig that had arrived in Alaska this summer, the Transocean Polar Pioneer, is close behind.

The Noble Discoverer arrived in Dutch Harbor Sunday, said Shell Alaska spokesperson Megan Baldino. During the stop, both rigs had a crew change and resupply of fuel and groceries. read more

Alaska mulls extra oil drilling to cope with climate change

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By Matt McGrath: Environment correspondent, BBC News, Alaska: 12 Oct 2015

Expanding the search for oil is necessary to pay for the damage caused by climate change, the Governor of Alaska has told the BBC.

The state is suffering significant climate impacts from rising seas forcing the relocation of remote villages.

Governor Bill Walker says that coping with these changes is hugely expensive.

He wants to “urgently” drill in the protected lands of the Arctic National Wilderness Refuge to fund them.

Alaska has been severely hit by the dramatic drop in the price of oil over the past two years. read more

Environmentalists ramp up resistance to big oil

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Environmental groups have become emboldened by their perceived triumph over Shell in the Arctic, in which they refined new tactics. What impact might this decision have on the future green movement in the United States?

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Environmental organizations celebrated when Royal Dutch Shell announced it was halting oil and gas explorations in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea “for the foreseeable future.” Activists heralded the move as an unprecedented victory for their campaign to stop drilling: They managed to shut down a fossil fuels project, they claimed.

However, the oil giant is adamant that environmental groups played no role in its decision to leave the Arctic. A spokesperson confirmed to DW that the company withdrew for economic and legislative reasons, stating that the Burger J well didn’t contain enough oil to develop a viable commercial project. read more

UNESCO sees bright side to Shell’s Arctic pullout

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Alaska Dispatch News: October 8, 2015

Shell’s decision to end its program to drill for oil in Arctic waters off Alaska is being cheered by one international organization.

Shell’s drilling in the Chukchi Sea threatened Russia’s Wrangel Island Reserve, an ecologically rich site that is the only designated World Heritage site in the Arctic, said the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, also known as UNESCO.

“This Arctic jewel, and the wealth of wildlife it supports, were threatened by Shell’s Chukchi Sea operations,” UNESCO said in a statement released Wednesday. read more

Shell’s withdrawal from Arctic energizes activists

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Activists plan broader green campaign

By Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Hearst Washington Bureau: Oct  8, 2015

WASHINGTON — Environmentalists who battled Arctic oil drilling by paddling kayaks, dangling from bridges and climbing onto rigs at sea have claimed a high-profile success against Shell and aim to funnel the resulting enthusiasm into other fights against fossil fuels.

Shell is abandoning its long crusade to find crude in the waters north of Alaska after disappointing results at a critical test well in the Chukchi Sea. While the company cited financial reasons for the pullout, the move nonetheless represents a tangible victory for environmental activists. read more

Aggressive bidding after reserves scandal put Shell on path to Arctic disappointment

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$7 billion bust in the Arctic Ocean

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31By Jennifer A. Dlouhy: 5 Oct 2015

WASHINGTON — Shell’s dreams of an Arctic oil bonanza were dashed with disappointing results from a critical exploratory well this summer, but they were in full force seven years ago, when the company aggressively outbid competitors to nab drilling rights in the Chukchi Sea.

Reeling from a scandal involving overstated reserves and desperate to replenish its portfolio, Royal Dutch Shell spent $2.1 billion buying up those Chukchi Sea leases, vastly outspending the competitors who plunked down just $800 million combined in the same government auction. read more

Myths about Shell’s Arctic Alaska pullout persist

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Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 09.03.21Yereth RosenAlaska Dispatch News: October 3, 2015

When Royal Dutch Shell announced that it had lost its big-money bet in the Chukchi Sea and would end its entire program in the offshore U.S. Arctic, the hyperbole and finger-pointing began in earnest.

Rep. Don Young accused President Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell of deliberately sabotaging Alaska’s economy. “I’m sure somewhere Sally Jewell and President Obama are smiling and celebrating Shell’s decision to cease operations off the coast of Alaska,” Young said in a statement issued just after Shell’s announcement. read more

Shell may post loss after taking £2.7bn Arctic exploration hit

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Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 14.26.20Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden told The Mail on Sunday just two weeks ago that he was committed to the Arctic

By Jon Rees For The Mail On Sunday: 4 Oct 2015

Shell is set to reveal that quitting the Arctic cost it up to $4.1billion (£2.7billion) in its third-quarter results when it unveils them later this month – in a move that could push the oil giant into reporting a loss.

The firm took investors and its environmental opponents by surprise when it announced last week that it would end its drilling programme in the Chukchi Sea, 150 miles off the north-west coast of Alaska.

It said it had found indications of oil and gas but not enough to justify further exploration. read more

What Shell’s latest move says about Arctic drilling myths

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Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 14.26.20By  Scott L. Montgomery OCTOBER 1, 2015

The company’s departure is certainly a pause in a new era of Arctic exploration, but it’s not the end.

After seven years of preparation and several billion dollars spent, Shell has decided to abandon its exploration program in the U.S. Arctic “for the foreseeable future.” This follows barely two months’ drilling in the Chukchi Sea at the company’s Burger J well, located 150 miles northwest of Barrow, Alaska. Evaluation of all data revealed “indications” of oil and gas but not enough to justify further activity in today’s low price environment. read more

Shell boss confronts environmental, carbon challenges

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On Monday, the oil and gas giant gritted its teeth and pulled out of one of the most ambitious, expensive and controversial exploration forays on the planet – Alaska. A project that could have delivered tens of billions of dollars instead delivered a dry well and, on Sunday, van Beurden and his team called it quits.

ANALYSIS: By The Business presenter Ticky Fullerton: 2 Oct 2015

Rarely have energy companies faced greater challenges, and global giant Shell has moved to tackle some of them head on.

Of all weeks to be in London to catch up with global Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden, this was it.

On Monday, the oil and gas giant gritted its teeth and pulled out of one of the most ambitious, expensive and controversial exploration forays on the planet – Alaska.

A project that could have delivered tens of billions of dollars instead delivered a dry well and, on Sunday, van Beurden and his team called it quits. read more

A rig too far

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Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 14.19.16Ben van Beurden, installed as Shell’s chief executive in 2014, could have halted the ill-fated project. But after a “personal journey”, he decided to go ahead.

Shell’s retreat from the frozen north shows the new realities of “big oil”: Reputation was another factor in Shell’s retreat

Oct 3rd 2015 | HOUSTON | From the print edition

OIL companies have a proud history of digging holes in inaccessible places and producing gushers of money. But in the Chukchi Sea, in the Alaskan Arctic, Shell has poured $7 billion into a single 6,800-foot exploratory well, making it possibly the most expensive hole yet drilled, only to admit this week that it had not found enough oil and gas to make further exploration worthwhile.

That was a big climbdown for a company that had spent seven years since acquiring the Chukchi licenses in 2008 in a highly public, drawn-out battle to drill in the Arctic. The decision boiled down to costs, financial and reputational. Most big oil firms face similar pressures. Some will take a lesson from Shell and put their Arctic plans on hold, though Eni, a big Italian oil firm, is vowing to press ahead with its efforts to drill in the Norwegian Arctic. read more

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