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July 30, 2015

Shell Takes Steps to Renew Arctic Oil Effort

Source: U.S. Geological Survey

Source: U.S. Geological Survey

A major oil company wants to keep its options open for tapping polar reserves off the coast of Alaska.

“The Arctic in general is still a massive resource in terms of the potential that it has,” said Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell. “We think we can do this responsibly,” he said Tuesday at an energy policy event hosted by Columbia University.

The company last week submitted a revised drilling plan to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management  after a series of setbacks, chronicled by The New York Times.

The company faced a court challenge over environmental reviews and was dogged by formidable working conditions in the Chukchi Sea.

“Operating in the Arctic is incredibly challenging,” van Beurden said. “So we need to get it right – we paused it because we felt that we had a little bit more work to do to get it right.”

Van Beurden said he wants to have the option to pursue drilling next year.

“I want to be able to decide yes if all the conditions line up and it does make sense,” he said.



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