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Shell puts on hold oil exploration at field in Chukchi Sea due to lack of prospects

September 28, 2015, 10:37 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
Exploratory drilling revealed no evidence of sufficiently large oil reserves to continue the search
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WASHINGTON, September 28. /TASS/. The energy and petrochemical company Royal Dutch Shell announced putting on hold further oil exploration in one of the fields on Alaska shelf in the Chukchi Sea, the company said Monday.

The decision to discontinue research was made after exploratory drilling revealed no evidence of sufficiently large oil reserves to continue the search.

"The Shell Alaska team has operated safely and exceptionally well in every aspect of this year's exploration program," Shell Upstream Americas Director Marvin Odum said. "Shell continues to see important exploration potential in the basin, and the area is likely to ultimately be of strategic importance to Alaska and the US. However, this is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome for this part of the basin."

Earlier TASS reported that the US administration had granted Shell Oil Company prior permission to begin exploratory drilling to find oil and gas in the Arctic.

"We have taken a thoughtful approach to carefully considering potential exploration in the Chukchi Sea, recognizing the significant environmental, social and ecological resources in the region and establishing high standards for the protection of this critical ecosystem, our Arctic communities, and the subsistence needs and cultural traditions of Alaska Natives," Abigail Ross Hopper Director of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said then.

Initially, Shell received a permit for drilling in the Arctic in summer 2012, but then two oil rigs ran aground.

In 2013, the Department of Interior obliged the company to ensure safety of operations in the Arctic before drilling there.

The recent decision of the US administration to allow Shell to drill in the Arctic was taken four months after the US authorities had granted it a permit to the company to drill in the Atlantic.

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