Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its search for oil in the Arctic after failing to find enough supplies of crude during a seven-year quest.
It has reportedly spent $7 billion (6.26 billion euros) exploring the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska and says the cost of pulling out for the foreseeable future could be $4.1 billion (3.67 billion euros).
The company cited its reasons in a statement: insufficient supplies, the project’s high costs and unpredictable US federal regulations. Shareholders had also put pressure on Shell to stop.
Shell’s Arctic oil well comes up dry http://t.co/QrhOcc3OhW— FuelFix (@fuelfixblog) September 28, 2015
The collapse in oil prices has called into question the viability of high-cost projects such as Shell’s Arctic exploration. The area is hugely challenging, with stormy seas and freezing temperatures.
Environmental campaigners have long argued that drilling for oil threatened the region and its wildlife, and have welcomed the withdrawal as a watershed moment for the climate.
Greenpeace described the end of the drilling programme as a defining day for the Arctic.
BREAKING: US$7bil & 7 yrs later
Shell</a> ceases Alaska drilling <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShellNo?src=hash">#ShellNo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/savethearctic?src=hash">#savethearctic</a> <a href="http://t.co/jOf2UPX0L6">http://t.co/jOf2UPX0L6</a> <a href="http://t.co/01wJJhzy14">pic.twitter.com/01wJJhzy14</a></p>— Greenpeace (Greenpeace) September 28, 2015