Shell withdraws from the Arctic

This is such a huge win for the environment and such a huge loss for oil companies, especially Shell. The company announced recently that it was withdrawing its oil platform from the Arctic, where it was drilling for oil.

The company’s adventures has cost seven billion dollars in the past seven years and is the conclusion – for now – of what has been a costly mistake. Of course, as the Arctic is reportedly full of oil, this won’t stop other oil companies to try and dig there.

Here is the introduction of the Washington Post article :

The move puts an end — for now — to the contentious debate over whether oil and gas exploration should take place in the environmentally sensitive area off Alaska’s coast. President Obama has come under intense fire for allowing drilling to proceed, and environmentalists cheered Shell’s announcement.

It also highlights the tremendous costs and risks of drilling in the Arctic frontier, which is thought to have vast oil reserves but where little exploration has taken place so far. Daunted by the task, half a dozen companies had already put their Arctic plans on ice; while Exxon Mobil found oil in Russia’s Kara Sea, economic sanctions forced it to halt operations there.

In a statement at 1 a.m. Eastern time, Shell said that while it had successfully drilled its Burger J exploration well in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea this summer to a total depth of 6,800 feet, the indications of oil and gas “are not sufficient to warrant further exploration in the Burger prospect.” The well lies roughly 150 miles from Barrow, Alaska, a base for shuttling supplies. Shell had sent about 30 vessels, including two large drilling rigs, to take advantage of the narrow summer window when drilling is feasible.

It would be nice if fossil fuels company started to understand that we don’t need oil and gas but that we do need a livable climate. They would perhaps then diversify for real into answering energy demands by efficiency, conservation efforts and renewables. I have a dream…

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