Breaking: Arctic’s Beaufort Sea Safe for One More Year

Alaska's Beaufort Sea, courtesy of NOAA

According to news reports, Peter Voser, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, is reported today to have announced that the oil giant has abandoned plans for exploratory drilling in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea in 2011.

But Arctic waters aren’t safe for good: despite the lack of infrastructure and cleanup technology that make oil spill response in the Arctic unfeasible, Shell intends to resume drilling plans for the Beaufort Sea in 2012.

Defenders’ Richard Charter said, “High risk offshore drilling in America’s Arctic Ocean cannot be considered a responsible course until we learn to clean up the inevitable oil spills in the region’s prevailing darkness, severe storms and broken sea ice, and until we have a Coast Guard presence closer than a thousand miles away.

“In the lingering aftermath of the BP Gulf spill catastrophe, and a similar shallow-water rig blowout in Australia, we simply cannot afford to invite an even worse disaster in the Arctic Ocean.”

“In the lingering aftermath of the BP Gulf spill catastrophe, and a similar shallow-water rig blowout in Australia, we simply cannot afford to invite an even worse disaster in the Arctic Ocean.”

Learn more:

Read Defenders’ full statement here.

See how Arctic drilling threatens pristine Arctic ecosystems.