"Shell Halts Arctic Drilling Right After It Began"

"A day after it began drilling its first well in the Arctic Ocean, Shell has been forced to temporarily abandon the work because of sea ice moving into the area."

"The delay was the latest setback for Shell, which has invested six years and more than $4 billion

has invested six years and more than $4 billion to win the right to drill for oil and natural gas in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off the North Slope of Alaska.

The company has been repeatedly stymied by equipment problems, regulatory hurdles, persistent sea ice and legal challenges from Alaska Natives and environmental groups. Shell had hoped to complete as many as four wells in the Arctic this summer. It now expects to begin one or two wells and finish next year.

Early Sunday, Shell’s Noble Discoverer drill ship sank a bit into the Burger Prospect, about 70 miles off the Alaska coast, the start of a 1,400-foot pilot hole that will form the basis for a mile-deep exploration well."

John M. Broder reports for the New York Times' Green blog September 10, 2012.

Source: Green/NYT, 09/11/2012