"As Shell’s Arctic Drilling Hopes Hit Snags, Its Rivals Watch"

"HOUSTON -- Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic drilling program is now officially in jeopardy and its prospects will depend on the findings of two continuing federal inquiries. One review is on the grounding of the Kulluk drill ship on New Year’s Eve after it was set adrift for five days in stormy weather, and the other is on the safety management of the entire Shell program."

"Rival oil companies, as they form their strategic choices, are keenly watching to see how Shell’s $4.5 billion exploratory operation off the North Slope of Alaska is faring and how the effort is working with wary United States regulators.

The answer, so far at least, is not well.

The grounding of the Kulluk was only the latest in an extensive series of Shell missteps that environmentalists say highlight the dangers inherent in prospecting for oil in the unpredictable and severe Arctic environment."

Clifford Krauss and John M. Broder report for the New York Times January 17, 2013.

SEE ALSO:

"Why Shell Should Just Quit Its Alaska Drilling Fiasco" (Forbes)

Source: NY Times, 01/18/2013