Chevron Halts Arctic Drilling Plans 'Indefinitely'

ChevronHaltsArcticDrilling.jpg

In a move cheered by environmental groups, Chevron has put its plans to drill for oil in the Arctic "on hold indefinitely," the energy company said Wednesday.

It had planned on drilling by 2020 in the Beaufort Sea, but in a letter to Canada's National Energy Board (NEB), Chevron cited "the level of economic uncertainty in the industry" for its decision, Reuters reports.

CBC News reports that Chevron has already spent over $100 million on exploration in the Beaufort Sea.

NEB policy is that companies engaged in drilling must be able to drill a "same season relief well" in the case of an out-of-control well—an ability, according to the Financial Times, Chevron said was "not feasible." Chevron was in the process of creating an alternate to such a relief well and have it meet approval of the regulatory body.

The Natural Resources Defense Council warned that such an alternative would set "a dangerous precedent for the Arctic," adding that there is a "lack of evidence and testing, especially in Arctic environments" that an equivalent safety measure was possible.

The suspension of the drilling plans is good news for the Arctic, Greenpeace Canada Arctic Campaigner Farrah Khan stated.

"Chevron's decision to indefinitely halt its Arctic oil drilling plans is further proof that technical challenges of drilling in icy waters, where a spill is all but inevitable, push costs far too high to be viable, especially with volatile oil prices," Khan stated.

Miyoko Sakashita, Oceans Director with the Center for Biological Diversity, welcomed the news as well, stating: "The Arctic should be off limits to oil drilling. It's too hazardous to drill in the frozen, stormy waters—and an oil spill would destroy pristine habitat for bowhead whales, polar bears, and ice seals."

This story was originally published in Common Dreams.


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

Leaderboard

1
+1436sc earned social capital
2
+312sc earned social capital
3
+228sc earned social capital
4
+178sc earned social capital
5
+172sc earned social capital
6
+135sc earned social capital
7
+133sc earned social capital
8
+129sc earned social capital
9
+118sc earned social capital
10
+116sc earned social capital
11
+115sc earned social capital
12
+115sc earned social capital
13
+108sc earned social capital
14
+104sc earned social capital
15
+97sc earned social capital
16
+92sc earned social capital
17
+92sc earned social capital
18
+92sc earned social capital
19
+90sc earned social capital
20
+88sc earned social capital