Gov. Sean Parnell says that if Arctic offshore exploration off Alaska is shut down this summer, the action “condemns” the region for decades.
The Interior Department has announced a review of the 2012 Arctic offshore drilling season.
A Shell vessel that drilled last year in the Beaufort Sea ran aground on a remote island on its way to Seattle for upgrades. Some officials, including Alaska’s Natural Resources commissioner and U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, say this was a transportation issue, not a drilling issue.
Parnell told a Juneau Rotary group that Shell has invested billions in the outer continental shelf and other companies are looking at its experience.
He says if companies make that kind of investment and can’t even get into the oil horizon, they won’t stick around.