Shell proves itself unprepared for Arctic drilling

Posted on 18 September 2012  | 
Shell Oil Company's latest incident in the Arctic—damage to its so-called Arctic containment system—has once again proved the hazards of drilling in Arctic seas. In a release, Shell admitted that a critical part of its containment system had been damaged in testing.

"Shell's attempts to demonstrate it can safely drill for Arctic oil would be a comedy of errors, except oil spills are not funny" says Mikhail Babenko of WWF's Arctic Programme.

Shell's plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea this year have been dogged by problems. It recently suspended drilling a day after it began due to sea ice drifting in. "Shell planned to demonstrate it can safely drill for oil in the Arctic offshore—and has demonstrated quite the reverse," says Babenko. "Neither Shell nor any other oil company has demonstrated that it has the technology or techniques to safely drill for oil in Arctic seas."

Background Read more from WWF  
Sea ice in the Beaufort Sea.
© WWF / NASA/Kathryn Hansen Enlarge

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