Shell announces plans not to drill in 2014

After a one year hiatus from the arctic oil and gas power house, Shell announces plans to not drill this year in arctic waters.

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

ANCHORAGE- After a one year hiatus from the arctic oil and gas power house, Shell announces plans to not drill this year in arctic waters. 

2012 marks the last time Shell drilled in the reserves off Alaska's arctic shores. After the Kulluk drilling rig was grounded in December of 2012, the oil company took a one year break. 

 

The company announced Thursday that the break would continue through this next year. 
 
As a result of uncertainty raised by the recent Ninth Circuit Court decision that requires the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management to gather and synthesize additional data related to Chukchi Lease Sale 193, Shell will stop the planned 2014 exploration program offshore Alaska. 
     
The Ninth Circuit court decision ruled in favor of environmental groups.
 
Both of Alaska's U.S. senators say this is an unfortunate decision for the state.
 
Says Senator Lisa Murkowski,  "Companies willing to invest billions of dollars to develop our country's resources must have confidence that the federal agencies responsible for overseeing their efforts are competent and working in good faith. I'm not convinced that has been the case for Alaska."
 
Senator Mark Begich is also seeking more independence for Alaska's oil and gas industry. 
 
"It is simply unacceptable that judicial overreach is getting in the way of letting Alaskans develop our own natural resources. Development in the Arctic has already been subjected to unprecedented safety standards - far more than domestic production anywhere else."
 
This may only be a temporary break for the oil company. Governor Sean Parnell says he's confident Shell will be part of Alaska's future once again.
 
For now, Shell says they plan on working with the Department of the Interior to develop a successful program for the future.
 
Opponents of big oil companies say now Alaska's waters are safe for another summer.  They question whether the Chuckchi Sea should have drilling at all.