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.
- A whale-watching tour saw more than just whales Wednesday, after helping save a deer from drowning in the ocean.
- Equatorial Pacific Ocean finally shows signs of cooling, but the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea are still extremely warm. Latest research indicates both phenomenon helped with each other's formation between 2013 and 2015.
- The updated geochemical atlas was an outgrowth of another project. Geologists and surveyors were on a mission to find rare earth elements and minerals that could be strategically important to the country.
- During a brief layover Wednesday in Ketchikan on her way to Sitka, Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski talked about the state’s Republican primary campaign, and about the presidential election.