Shell calls a halt to offshore oil exploration in Alaska after fruitless $4bn test drill

Shell Alaska prospectsShell today said it  has found indications of oil and gas in Alasaka – but these are not sufficient to warrant further exploration in its Burger prospect.  

Over the summer, Shell drilled a test well to a total depth of 6,800 feet on the Burger J exploration well, located in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.  The Burger J well is approximately 150 miles from Barrow in about 150 feet of water. 

For an area equivalent to half the size of the Gulf of Mexico, this basin remains substantially under-explored.The well will be sealed and abandoned in accordance with U.S. regulations. 

Marvin Odum, Director, Shell Upstream Americas, said: “The Shell Alaska team has operated safely and exceptionally well in every aspect of this year’s exploration program

“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.”

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