About Antonia Articles and Publications Interviews and Publications Events Calendar Contact Antonia Links and Resources News Updates Take Action Sitemap

printer friendly email

Shell Is Reeling After Pulling Out of the Arctic.

The oil giant’s increasingly bad reputation at the hands of a growing global protest movement led it to give up on Arctic ambitions.
by Antonia JuhaszNewsweek
October 13th, 2015


Earlier this month, Shell’s tumultuous Arctic drilling campaign came to an abrupt and costly end. In a written statement, the company announced the cessation of its offshore Alaska activities “for the foreseeable future”—at a loss of billions of dollars. This both stunned and thrilled critics, many of whom worried that the seven-year effort to stop Shell was dead in July, when the Obama administration approved the company’s permits to drill.

But the truth is, this was a long time coming. Over the past several years, in response to lawsuits by environmental groups and Alaska Natives, public pressure for greater safety following the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and Shell’s series of failures in the Arctic, the federal government placed significant regulatory restrictions on Shell’s permits. These included effectively limiting Shell to drilling just one hole at a time and giving the company only a relatively short, three-month period to work in the Arctic. With the goal of avoiding the coming winter ice and severe weather which had resulted in the wreck of Shell’s Kulluk rig in December 2012, President Barack Obama’s administration had stipulated that Shell had to wrap up its exploration activities on September 28 and send its 29-vessel armada back to port; they would be allowed to return next summer....