By BEN LEFEBVRE
Royal Dutch Shell might not see any short-term impact from its
Kulluk rig running aground off of Alaska, but the accident
could cut confidence in oil production in the Great White
The company said it would invest $5bn to explore for oil and
gas in the Arctic, but extreme weather has riddled the project with accidents and missed
schedules and could raise the hackles of environmentalists.
That in turn might hurt Noble Corp. and others seeking to
expand exploration in the region.
"The worse the accident proves to be, the more likely Shell's
Alaskan drilling plans could be compromised, jeopardizing
future Alaskan work for Noble's Discoverer drillship," says
Earlier this week, Shell suffered a setback in its closely
watched attempt to drill for oil in US Arctic waters
when the offshore rig it had used ran aground late Monday
after breaking free from tow ships in high seas.
The Kulluk, a drilling rig owned by Noble, struck Sitkalidak
Island, an uninhabited area about 300 miles southwest of
Anchorage, according to a joint statement by the US Coast
Guard, Noble, Shell and state officials, who were coordinating
response to the accident.
Environmental groups are already planning to ask the Obama
administration for a suspension on permitting in the Arctic
Dow Jones Newswires