NOIA Commends Shell’s Efforts Offshore Alaska

RandallLuthi_webFor Immediate Release: Monday, September 28, 2015
Contact:  Nicolette Nye, (202) 465-8463, nicolette@nullnoia.org

Washington, D.C. – National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement regarding Shell’s decision to halt exploration activities offshore Alaska:

“NOIA commends Shell’s efforts in the Chukchi Sea and recognizes the great expense of this endeavor.  Their ability to drill without incident this season demonstrates that the Arctic can be safely explored.  Shell’s multi-year campaign shows their commitment to providing domestic oil and natural gas to the U.S. and willingness to invest in U.S. jobs.

“It is disappointing on a number of fronts that due to a variety of factors, including regulatory constraints and cost issues, Shell has decided to halt their offshore drilling campaign in Alaska.  First, the U.S. will lack energy source diversification for the foreseeable future since low oil prices and high drilling costs in the Arctic will likely impact future exploration activity in the Alaskan OCS.  Second, enormous economic opportunities for Native Alaskans have been delayed, if not lost, for the immediate future.  Third, the U.S. will continue to lag other nations in the exploration and understanding of Arctic offshore areas.

“The groups cheering this news reveal the energy education disconnect in our country.  The U.S. and world will need more energy sources, not fewer, in the coming decades, whether they be fossil fuels, which are estimated to still supply nearly 80 percent of the world’s energy needs in 2040, or renewable energy sources, such as wind, wave, current, and solar.

“The role that the US regulatory system played merits examination, as do the arctic operating recommendations from the National Petroleum Council.  Due to Federal regulatory constraints, Shell was forced to put all their exploratory eggs in one basket, i.e., one well, rather than a suite of exploratory wells that would have given a more complete picture of potential resources.  Unfortunately, the results serve as an example of the harsh reality of the exploration business; dry or noncommercial wells are not uncommon.

“The Alaskan OCS is predicted to be an important addition to the nation’s energy portfolio.  Hopefully other companies will continue their efforts offshore Alaska, so that Americans can gain a better understanding of the location and size of the valuable oil and natural gas resources in the region.”

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ABOUT NOIA

NOIA is the only national trade association representing all segments of the offshore industry with an interest in the exploration and production of both traditional and renewable energy resources on the nation’s outer continental shelf.  NOIA’s mission is to secure reliable access and a fair regulatory and economic environment for the companies that develop the nation’s valuable offshore energy resources in an environmentally responsible manner. The NOIA membership comprises about 300 companies engaged in business activities ranging from producing to drilling, engineering to marine and air transport, offshore construction to equipment manufacture and supply, telecommunications to finance and insurance, and renewable energy.