05/01/2011 - Shell Oil will present an ambitious proposal to the federal government this week, seeking permission to drill up to 10 exploratory oil wells beneath Alaska’s frigid Arctic waters.
The forbidding ice-clogged region is believed to hold vast reserves of oil, potentially enough to fuel 25 million cars for 35 years. And with production in Alaska’s North Slope in steep decline, the oil industry is eager to tap new offshore wells.
Shell has led the way, working for five years to convince regulators, environmentalists, Native Alaskans and several courts that it could manage the process safely, protect polar bears and other wildlife, safeguard air quality for residents and respond quickly to any spill in the region. But BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster a year ago put a chill on new offshore drilling.
“We believe there need to be more spill drills, more testing, more inspections of the drill rig and blowout preventer before they begin,” said Marilyn Heiman, director of the United States Arctic Program of the Pew Environment Group.
Read the full article Shell Tries to Calm Fears on Drilling in Alaska on The New York Times' Web site.