Sorry You Didn’t Find Much Gas in the Arctic, Shell!

It’s only been a few months since Shell started taking advantage of loosened regulations and began drilling exploration in the Arctic – and the company is already leaving. Though environmentalists have worked tirelessly to get the oil corporation to leave this precious area, ultimately it was Shell itself that pulled the plug on the operations.

Evidently, Shell failed to find nearly the amount of petroleum it expected to discover, making further drilling impractical. Because of the risks of working in a remote, volatile environment, it’s not cost effective for Shell to continue working there without having an ample supply of gas and oil. For now, Shell will seal the wells it drilled.

“This is clearly a disappointing exploration outcome for this part of the basin,” said Marvin Odum, president of Shell USA. By my count, there are over 80,000 Care2 members who aren’t nearly as “disappointed” as Odum. Still, our condolences go out to Shell for spending 7 billion on a pointless expedition.

Although Shell says there are no plans to return to the Arctic anytime soon, the corporation is not ruling out the possibility of further exploration in the future. Indeed, by the time other known fossil fuels supplies begin to dry up, the Arctic, estimated to have 30 percent of the world’s remaining natural gas, might seem worth the risks and expenses of exploring in the future.

On the other hand, the world might not be so reliant on fossil fuels by that point. “It wouldn’t be a big surprise if they abandoned Arctic drilling altogether,’ energy expert Stuart Elliott told the BBC. “It is possible that Shell might almost be relieved as they can stop exploration for a legitimate operational reason rather than being seen to bow to environmental pressure.”

There’s some speculation that Hillary Clinton’s opinion on Arctic drilling could have also played a role in this quick decision. Though current president Barack Obama controversially approved oil and gas exploration in the area, seeing Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner in the next election, publicly oppose drilling could have Shell doubting the longevity of the project from a political standpoint.

Environmentalists might not be able to claim this victory as their own, but it’s a victory for the environment nonetheless. Arctic drilling in years past has yielded multiple accidents, and oil spills are nearly impossible to clean off of ice. The storms that frequent the area make broken equipment more likely. Plenty of endangered species are annoyed if not outright harmed by the drilling. With all of these problems that were sure to arise, it’s almost as if a sentient Mother Nature hid her natural gas in order to protect the Arctic waters.

So long, Shell! Can’t say we’re sorry to see you go!

Photo credit: Thinkstock

110 comments

Marcella T.
Marcella Tabout a year ago

"Environmentalists might not be able to claim this victory as their own, but it’s a victory for the environment nonetheless," and right now the environment needs every victory it can get.

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Mark Donner
Mark Donner1 years ago

I'm not sorry. I hope all executives of Shell and their gluttonous partners in oil crime go bankrupt and homeless and then die from starvation. I would help to dump their bodies in their oil wells while throwing a huge party.

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Katrina Shipley
Katrina Shipley1 years ago

Ugh, can we just stop their environmental terrorism somehow?!

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Ryan Madero
Ryan Madero1 years ago

That was the 2nd last source of fresh water for the earth. Cover up maybe...

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Ryan Madero
Ryan Madero1 years ago

Yay thank you.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jennifer Grant
Jennifer Alvarez1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Roberto M.
Past Member 1 years ago

WAS NOW

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Dimitris Dallis
Past Member 1 years ago

I'm so glad about it :)

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Marlene Dinkins

noted thnx

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