Ice Alone Stops Shell from Drilling in the Arctic

Exploratory activities get suspended after just one day

Greenheads and conservationists have long been engaged in a battle against oil company Shell's plans for the Arctic, yet recent news on this topic inform us that these past couple of days, the landscapes in this part of the world proved to be more than capable of looking after themselves.

More precisely, due to harsh environmental conditions, this oil company had no choice but to give up on the exploratory drilling it wished to carry out in the Chukchi Sea, near the Alaskan northwestern coast.

According to Seattle Pi, this particular Arctic project made Shell spend roughly $4.5 billion (roughly €3.5 billion) so far, which is why some environmentalists might feel the need to contain a smile when hearing that in the end it wasn't ongoing legislation or lawsuits that prevented drilling, but rather a cold-hearted block of ice.

Joking aside, it seems that the decision to suspend exploratory drilling in these frozen waters was taken simply out of precaution, as reports indicated that a 30-mile long and 12-mile wide (48.2 / 19.31 kilometers) mass of ice was approaching this oil company's vessels.

However, it is to be expected that, once environmental conditions become favorable once more, drilling activities will be resumed.

As we previously reported, Shell has already received approval from the US Department of Interior to drill until they reach the depth of 1,400 feet (0.426 kilometers), and from that moment on to halt all activities and not disturb oil-bearing formations until their containment barge also makes it in the area.

For those unaware, Shell's oil containment barge is presently forced to remain ashore, as the Coast Guard identified a series of problems having to do with its electrical wiring and piping system.

Seeing how Shell is required by ongoing rules and regulations to leave these frozen waters until the 24th of September when winter sets in, environmentalists are probability keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that actual drilling in the Arctic will have to be postponed until the following year.

From where we stand, they are probability hoping that by the next summer further actions can be taken against this oil company and its plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea.

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