Royal Dutch Shell is seeking permission to extend its Arctic drilling season as it struggles with the logistics of exploring untapped oil reserves beneath icy waters off Alaska. [Reuters]
Sea-ice cover in the Arctic Ocean reached a record low this week, dropping below the previous record set in 2007, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported on Monday. It is expected to continue diminishing for at least the next week.
Long-term disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has inspired development boosters to look to the area for new oil finds. So far, Shell has been the company with the most ambitious Arctic oil-exploration plans.
The usually ice-clogged Chukchi Sea is considered a promising but daunting frontier for oil drilling. The U.S. Department of Interior estimates the Chukchi holds over 15 million barrels of recoverable oil.
But remoteness and harsh conditions have hindered development. There have been only five wells drilled in the Chukchi, four of them by Shell, and all were abandoned.
Hurricane Isaac will continue pelting Louisiana with heavy rains today and tomorrow as it marches up the Gulf Coast, unleashing damaging 80 mile-per-hour winds and causing widespread flooding in New Orleans and other ...