Despite a season of “uh-ohs” last winter, Shell is bound and determined to try, try again to drill in the Arctic.
The company has sunk $5 billion so far in its Arctic drilling plans. Before their plans to drill in the Arctic next year actually materialize, the company must fulfill several regulator requests including a third party audit of its management systems.
Reacting to the news, the head of Greenpeace International’s Arctic oil campaign Ben Ayliffe said:
“Shell’s Arctic bravado is a desperate attempt to reassure its investors, but the facts tell a different story. Brushing off the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars and casually scrapping a drilling platform are not the actions of a company in control of its operations.
“In 2012 Shell proved that it is completely unfit to drill in the remote Arctic, a place of unrivaled beauty where any spill would be an environmental disaster. In April it signed a joint deal with Russia’s state owned giant Gazprom, one of the world’s most polluting oil companies with a record of serious negligence.
“Shell has run out of options, and is prepared to gamble its reputation on projects and partnerships that other oil companies have dismissed as far too risky.
“While 30 peaceful people languish in a Russian jail, Shell’s board sit in the comfort of an Amsterdam office planning the next phase in their reckless hunt for Arctic oil. Greenpeace stands with millions of people who are ready to oppose Shell or any other company that chooses to drill for oil in the Arctic ocean.”
On the same call with reporters, Shell today announced quarterly profits that fell short of analysts expectations.
“Former Secretary of the US Interior Ken Salazar summed up Shell’s disastrous 2012 Arctic boondoggle succinctly when he said, “Shell screwed up in 2012, and we’re not going to let them screw up whenever they [resume]…”, said Greenpeace US Arctic campaign leader Gustavo Ampugnani.
In a further inexplicable development, Shell has announced plans to replace its 30 year old rig, the Kulluk, which ran aground on December 31st, 2012 after a series of mishaps and misadventures, with another 30 year old rig built by notorious off shore drilling contractors, Transocean.
The “Arctic 30” are 28 Greenpeace International activists, a freelance photographer and freelance videographer who are being held on charges of hooliganism following a peaceful protest at a Gazprom Arctic drilling platform last month. The New York Times today reported the situation in a front page article.