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Shell Alaska News and Events

Shell responds to PEW advertising campaign

PEW’s campaign in opposition of Shell’s plans to drill in the Alaska offshore: Are we really ready to drill in the Arctic?

No one has asked that question more in the last five years than Shell, and the short answer is, yes--we are ready to drill. Given the experience, technology and world-class assets Shell will bring to the Arctic offshore, we remain absolutely confident we can operate safely in the Arctic or we would not attempt to do so.

Alaska and the Gulf

The characteristics of the shallow water, low-pressure wells we intend to drill in Alaska could not be more different than what you would typically find it the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The risk profiles are on the opposite end of the spectrum. 

Darkness and Ice

We will only be operating during the “open water season” (July 15-Oct. 31st) when, for the most part, there will be more daylight in Alaska than most any latitude in the world.

Additionally, the control systems and adaptive management style Shell will bring to this exploration program will take into account the latest weather and ice conditions to ensure no critical operations are undertaken unless there is ample time to complete the job. We will monitor ice and weather 24/7 using a number of local, national and international sources. 

The Coast Guard won’t be able to help

Our leases have always been defined by their remoteness. We knew when we purchased this acreage we would not be able to call on the Coast Guard in the event of a large marine incident. That’s why we have put in place an on-site, nearshore and onshore oil spill response fleet that is second to none.

Shell can’t respond to an oil spill closer to the shore because your vessels are too big to get close?

Not true. We will have pre-staged onshore equipment and smaller, lighter, shallow-draft vessels that can maneuver in that space.

Finally, our campaign has been ongoing for five years. The burden of proof has always been on Shell to prove Arctic-readiness and it’s not something we shy away from. We’re proud of our Alaska story and capabilities. We are Arctic Ready.

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