The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. As the global population rises, more and more people are moving out of poverty and gaining access to energy. Global energy demand will continue to increase, requiring all sources to meet growing needs in a sustainable way.

Today, most of the world’s largest remaining undeveloped oil and gas fields are in harder-to-reach places such as the Arctic and sub-Arctic. Learn more about tomorrow’s energy resources

We have a long history in Alaska that dates back to 1918. Shell was one of the most prominent explorers in all of the frontier basins of Alaska, as well as being an operator and major producer in Cook Inlet. We are responsible for safely drilling many of the wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in the 1980s.

The National Petroleum Council (NPC) released a 2015 study about prudent development titled Arctic Potential: Realizing the Promise of U.S. Arctic Oil and Gas Resources. The study – co-authored by a diverse group of government regulators, Alaska Native representatives, scientists, industry members and NGOs – found that the Arctic has large oil and gas potential that can provide national, economic and energy security benefits. Learn more about some of the key findings.


New oil and gas development in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas could result in $145 billion in new payroll* for U.S. workers. Development of Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) would reinforce national security by boosting domestic energy and would help extend the operating life of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System (TAPS) and Alaska’s North Slope oil fields. 

Of the more than 54,000 (annual average) long-term jobs that could be created by the development of Alaska’s OCS, more than 28,000 could be located outside of Alaska. *These include both entry-level and specialized positions in a diverse range of fields.  

*SOURCE: Potential National-Level Benefits of Alaska OCS Development, Northern Economics, Inc. and Institute of Social and Economic Research, 2011

NOTE: The estimated payroll benefits cover a 50-year period. 

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