Frozen Future: Shell and the US offshore Arctic

Publication date: 13th February 2015

Publication date: 
13 February, 2015

On 29 January 2015, Royal Dutch Shell confirmed that it intends, subject to regulatory approval, to resume its US Arctic drilling programme at a cost for 2015 of at least $1bn. To date, Shell’s Arctic programme has been a failure despite capital expenditure in excess of $6bn. 2012’s drilling season beset by multiple operational failings was followed by a ‘pause’ for 2013 and a forced reversal of 2014 plans because of a US court decision.

This briefing examines Shell’s Arctic experiences and outlines key operational and economic issues. We suggest questions investors should ask Shell, to understand whether the company has adequately assessed the various risks it faces.

For further information, please contact Sebastian Bock at or Louise Rouse at or on +44 7751 256163.

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