After Shell Oil's attempts to drill in the Arctic encountered multiple troubling incidents, the company announced today that it will not be drilling in the Arctic in 2013. Among the incidents were catastrophic failures of proposed containment systems, one of two drilling ships running aground while being towed through a storm to avoid tax considerations, and another ship receiving 16 safety and performance violations.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who has been questioning and exposing these issues with Shell's Arctic endeavors, today said this was the right decision on the part of Shell, and asked the Department of Interior to expand its current expedited review of Arctic drilling prospects, given additional time this postponement now allows.
Below is the statement of Rep. Markey, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee:
"After bumbling through a year of mishaps, beachings, and complete safety failures, it's clear that Shell and the oil industry were not ready to drill in the Arctic. This postponement is the right decision and should allow the Department of Interior the time it needs to do a full review of the oil industry's capability to handle the harsh conditions in the Arctic."
Below are actions Rep. Markey has taken on Shell's attempts to drill in the Arctic:
December 5, 2012: Markey questions Shell on failed containment tests.
January 3, 2013: Markey questions Shell on Kulluk grounding incident.
January 10, 2013: Markey challenges Shell on claims of tax avoidance in Kulluk incident.
February 22, 2013: Markey releases massive safety violations for Noble Discoverer drilling ship.