The Obama administration ordered a sweeping review of Shell's plans to drill in the Arctic on Tuesday, after a series of mishaps ending with the New Year grounding of the company's Kulluk rig.
The review – and a separate investigation of the grounding of the Kulluk – raises the possibility that Shell, after investing six years and $5bn trying to extract oil in harsh and remote conditions, may be forced to re-evaluate entirely its plans to drill in the Arctic.
The review could clear the way for further restrictions on Shell. Eleanor Huffines, who manages the Arctic programme for the Pew Environment Group, said it was time for the Obama administration to impose an Arctic-specific regulatory regime. " What I would really like to see is the Obama Administration take a step back and impose Arctic specific safety, training, and spill response standards," she said. "We would like to see training, equipment and spill response standards that are geared towards the reality of the weather, the remoteness of infrastructure, the fog, the sea, the winds – all those things that you are not going to encounter in the Gulf of Mexico."
Read the full article, Shell's Arctic Drilling Plan Under Threat After US Government Orders Review, on the Guardian website.