Royal Dutch Shell has spent billions of dollars over six years preparing to drill for new oil in Alaska. The hidden treasure is an estimated 20–25 billion barrels of oil beneath the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.
Not surprisingly, drilling for oil in Alaska is complicated and expensive (See map of proposed offshore exploration and drilling in Alaska). Part of the complexity is the distant Arctic location and short summer exploration and drilling window, and part is caused by drifty U.S. federal regulations.
Oil exploration and production is never easy (as in “the ‘easy oil’ has been found”), and new frontiers, technological and geographical, are always the challenge. And in this case, federal regulation from an anti-oil administration is at work.
Shell’s Coming Restart
on Shell’s suspended Arctic drilling operations for 2013, the company hasn’t given up.…