Shell's Polar Pioneer is towed into port in Seattle. Photo: World Maritime News

[Some good news to start the week. A dry hole really is the best outcome. – Des]

By Charisse Jones
28 September 2015

(USA TODAY) – Royal Dutch Shell will end exploration in off shore Alaska "for the forseeable future,'' after an exploratory well in the Chukchi Sea failed to yield the oil and gas that was hoped for.

Shell (RDS.A) had drilled the Burger J well down 6,800 feet, and thought the exploration would pay off because of its location in a basin that it believed had the qualities that signal a significant reservoir of petroleum.

But while it "found indications of oil and gas,'' it wasn't enough to justify continued exploration and so the company says it will seal the well and move on.

“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 U.S.,” Marvin Odum, president of Shell USA, said in a statement. “However, this is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome for this part of the basin.”

The company also said it was ending its efforts in the basin because of the expense, and the contentious regulatory climate in the area.

The announcement was a major setback for Shell, which hoped that drilling off the Alaska coast would boost the company's revenue. Environmentalists, who had been against the exploration, were pleased with Shell's decision. [more]

Shell says it will cease Alaska offshore Arctic drilling



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