Major Victory: Shell Abandons Arctic Drilling

Print Friendly

The Social Movement for Economic, Racial and Environmental Justice played huge role in the result: “Shell has also privately made clear it is taken aback by the public protests against the drilling which are threatening to seriously damage its reputation.”

Note: The movement has done an incredible job over the last three years protesting Shell’s arctic drilling culminating with the #SHellNo campaign this summer. The stock of Shell was dropping, its public image was taking a major hit and the company was going to see an escalation of protest against it. This was always a risky and foolish invesment. 1shell3

An important lesson for the movement, one we have seen repeated in our experience on a wide range of issues: you never know how close you are to victory. It looked like the protests had failed to stop Shell. They got their equipment into the Artic and began drilling. There were no indications of Shell giving up even last week. This should hearten all of those fighting what seem like impossible campaigs. You may be closer than you think. Keep fighting, never give up!

Of course, this is not over. There is still a rapacious desire for oil and we need to continue to push for an end to all licenses for drilling in the Arctic. We are urging people to take action to finish the job.

Send an email to President Obama today urging him to ban arctic drilling. 

Tell President Obama No More Drilling In The Arctic

Dear President Obama

The decision by Shell to not drill in the Arctic gives you the opportunity to ban drilling in our ocean waters. I am writing to urge you to order that no new licenses will be granted to any oil company to drill in the Arctic.

You have spoken about the reality of climate change and your decision to allow Arctic drilling was inconsistent with the need to save the planet from the tipping point of climate change. Ban Arctic oil drilling.

[signature]

726 signatures

Share this with your friends:

   

Oil giant’s US president says hugely controversial drilling operations off Alaska will stop for ‘foreseeable future’ as drilling finds little oil and gas

Shell has abandoned its controversial drilling operations in the Alaskan Arctic in the face of mounting opposition.

Its decision, which has been welcomed by environmental campaigners, follows disappointing results from an exploratory well drilled 80 miles off Alaska’s north-west coast. Shell said it had found oil and gas but not in sufficient quantities.

The move is a major climbdown for the Anglo-Dutch group which had talked up the prospects of oil and gas in the region. Shell has spent about $7bn (£4.6bn) onArctic offshore development in the hope there would be deposits worth pursuing, but now says operations are being ended for the “foreseeable future.”

Shell is expected to take a hit of around $4.1bn as a result of the decision.

The company has come under increasing pressure from shareholders worried about the plunging share price and the costs of what has so far been a futile search in the Chukchi Sea.

Shell has also privately made clear it is taken aback by the public protests against the drilling which are threatening to seriously damage its reputation.

Ben van Beurden, the chief executive, is also said to be worried that the Arctic is undermining his attempts to influence the debate around climate change.

His attempts to argue that a Shell strategy of building up gas as a “transitional” fuel to pave the way to a lower carbon future has met with scepticism, partly because of the Arctic operations.

A variety of consultants have also argued that Arctic oil is too expensive to find and develop in either a low oil price environment or in a future world with a higher price on carbon emissions.

In a statement today, Marvin Odum, director of Shell Upstream Americas, said: “Shell continues to see important exploration potential in the basin, and the area is likely to ultimately be of strategic importance to Alaska and the US. However, this is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome for this part of the basin.”

“Shell will now cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future. This decision reflects both the Burger J well result, the high costs associated with the project, and the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.”

Reacting to the news, Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said:

“Big oil has sustained an unmitigated defeat. They had a budget of billions, we had a movement of millions. For three years we faced them down, and the people won.

“The Save the Arctic movement has exacted a huge reputational price from Shell for its Arctic drilling programme. And as the company went another year without striking oil, that price finally became too high. They’re pulling out.

“Now President Obama should use his remaining months in office to say that no other oil company will be licenced to drill in the American Arctic.”

  • llozano

    Good news.

  • Aquifer

    Don’t kid yourself, it was an economic decision – if oil starts hitting high prices again, they will be back …

    “Shell will now cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska
    for the foreseeable future. This decision reflects both the Burger J
    well result, the high costs associated with the project, and the
    challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore
    Alaska.”

    But i agree that we need to continue and increase political pressure, both by petition, and especially at the polls, to get the gov’t to ban the activity – that is the only thing which will stop it …

  • georipo

    WOW!!!
    This is a BIG win for the Arctic and for mankind. It may come down to
    the Arctic Ocean being the only pristine cold ocean in which to grow
    good seafood. If it ever became polluted we could be closing one of the
    last doors. Keep the Arctic clear of any and all possible oil spills
    forever. Keep it as a sanctuary. As it develops, regulate shipping
    through the northwest passage very carefully to prevent polluting those
    waters.

  • Pingback: Shell, scientists, and Seattle: If not now, then when? | Scientists as citizens()

  • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

    Great News.

  • mwildfire

    I think there has been insufficient CELEBRATION of this news. You bet the kayactivists and bridge-hangers played a key role. The should all be slapping each other on the back, high fiving, and getting drunk!

  • Pingback: Battle To Protect The Arctic From Oil Drilling Is Not Over | PopularResistance.Org()

  • Pingback: Newsletter: Rigged Trade Negotiations Struggle | PopularResistance.Org()