In a clear concession that no oil company is a match for Arctic weather, Shell's president Marvin Odum announced on February 27 that Shell will "pause" it's exploratory drilling operations for the year.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it took the action “due to BP’s lack of business integrity,” and that the ban would remain in place until BP proves it can meet federal business standards. That’s good news.
When my career began in the late 1990s, one of my arguments for protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling was that we already had a place for Arctic resource development — a place that actually had “petroleum reserve” as part of its name.
“Clearly, sea ice is a problem even now, during summer,” said Lois Epstein, an Alaska-licensed engineer and The Wilderness Society’s Arctic Program Director. “Chukchi Sea oil likely will be among the most expensive oil in the world to produce and transport to market