Shell Seeks 5 More Years for Arctic Oil Drilling Drive

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) is asking the Obama administration for five more years to explore for oil off Alaska’s coast, saying set backs and legal delays may push the start of drilling past the 2017 expiration of some leases, Bloomberg.com reports.

Shell, which has spent eight years and $6 billion to search for oil in the Arctic’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas, said in letter to the Interior Department that “prudent” exploration before leases expire is now “severely challenged.”

“Despite Shell’s best efforts and demonstrated diligence, circumstances beyond Shell’s control have prevented, and are continuing to prevent, Shell from completing even the first exploration well in either area,” Peter Slaiby, vice president of Shell Alaska, wrote to the regional office of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

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