After a troubled 2012 Arctic drilling season, Shell Oil has announced it won’t be drilling this summer.
The company made the announcement in a statement Wednesday morning. Shell President Marvin Odum says the “decision to pause in 2013 will give us time to ensure the readiness of all our equipment and people.”
Both of Shell’s Arctic drill rigs are currently headed for dry dock in Asia. The Kulluk was damaged after running aground near Kodiak on New Year’s Eve, and the Noble Discoverer’s engines need an overhaul.
Shell drilled the beginnings of two exploratory wells last summer in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, and the statement indicates they plan to finish those wells.
But environmental groups are praising the decision to suspend drilling operations as an opportunity for the government to reevaluate whether the company should be in the Arctic at all.
- The law establishes Alaska as the second state in the nation to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October, replacing Columbus Day.
- U.S. Senate leaders postponed a vote on their health care reform bill, but Alaskans opposed to the bill aren’t letting up. One Alaskan, a three-time cancer survivor, went to Washington to make his pitch directly.
- Oprah Winfrey and some of her friends will be cruising through Alaska next month. Forbes reports that the seven-day Holland America cruise "Share the Adventure" departs from Seattle on July 15 on July 15. The 2,104-passenger ship will visit Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau, Sitka and other Alaskan sites.