Shell Cancels 2013 Drilling Season

Company plans to contiue drilling in the future.

In this photo provided by the United States Coast Guard, a Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak conducts the 13th hoist of 18 crewmen from the mobile drilling unit Kulluk on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, 80 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska. The tug Aiviq suffered problems towing the Kulluk Thursday prompting the Coast Guard to deploy cutters and aircraft to while Royal Dutch Shell dispatched additional tugs.(AP Photo/United States Coast Guard, Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis)

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by The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Royal Dutch Shell PLC says it will not drill for petroleum in the Arctic Ocean in 2013.

Shell Oil Co. President Marvin Odum says in an announcement the company will "pause" its exploration drilling in the Chukchi (chuk-CHEE') and Beaufort (BO'-fort) seas.

Odum says the company made progress in Alaska but Arctic offshore drilling is a long-term program that the company is pursuing in a safe and measured way.

Shell in 2012 drilled top holes on two wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi but drilling was hampered by problems.

The company could not complete work on a spill response barge required for drilling into petroleum-bearing rock.

The drill vessel used in the Beaufort was damaged when it broke loose from its tow vessel and ran aground New Year's Eve.

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