Arctic oil exploration: The US Department of the Interior has granted Royal Dutch Shell conditional approval to explore for oil in the country’s Arctic waters. The approval depends on Shell getting the nod from other US regulators, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said.
The Arctic is said to hold about 20% of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas reserves, and Shell has spent some $6bn exploring the region already. It stopped its operations there more than two years ago after problems including an oil rig fire and safety failures. The Anglo-Dutch company wants to drill up to six wells in water about 40 metres deep, using two vessels that can serve as backups in the event of an emergency.