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Shell Comments on USGS Report

In June 2011 the Report entitled An Evaluation of the Science Needs to Inform Decisions on Outer Continental Shelf Energy Development in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Alaska was released to Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar by the U.S. Geological Survey.

This report provides the results of more than one year of investigation by USGS staff into the data and scientific literature available for the Alaskan Arctic offshore, as well as the results of numerous interviews conducted with stakeholders.

The nearly 300 page report represents a valuable compendium of existing information and identifies possible data gaps. It is, however, a report that was developed within a limited timeframe and against the backdrop of one of the most significant environmental incidents of our nation’s history.

Given that the Report is likely to be the subject of intense evaluation and analyses and is sure to be cited extensively by proponents on both sides of the debate related to Arctic offshore oil and gas exploration, Shell Exploration and Production Company (Shell) is respectfully submitting the attached Comments for consideration by the Department of Interior.

These comments are submitted not to criticize the considerable value and substance generated by the USGS Report but to add value in the form of citation of additional information and perspective not included in the Report.