Amsterdam, October 31st 2013: Earlier today, Shell’s chief financial officer Simon Henry said that the company is ‘putting the building blocks in place’ to drill in Alaskan Arctic as early as next year (1).
Reacting to the news, the head of Greenpeace International’s Arctic oil campaign Ben Ayliffe said:
“Shell’s Arctic bravado is a desperate attempt to reassure its investors, but the facts tell a different story. Brushing off the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars and casually scrapping a drilling platform are not the actions of a company in control of its operations.
“In 2012 Shell proved that it is completely unfit to drill in the remote Arctic, a place of unrivaled beauty where any spill would be an environmental disaster. In April it signed a joint deal with Russia’s state owned giant Gazprom, one of the world’s most polluting oil companies with a record of serious negligence.
“Shell has run out of options, and is prepared to gamble its reputation on projects and partnerships that other oil companies have dismissed as far too risky.
“While 30 peaceful people languish in a Russian jail, Shell’s board sit in the comfort of an Amsterdam office planning the next phase in their reckless hunt for Arctic oil. Greenpeace stands with millions of people who are ready to oppose Shell or any other company that chooses to drill for oil in the Arctic ocean.”
On the same call with reporters, Shell today announced quarterly profits that fell short of analysts expectations. (2)
The “Arctic 30” are 28 Greenpeace International activists, a freelance photographer and freelance videographer who are being held on charges of hooliganism following a peaceful protest at a Gazprom Arctic drilling platform last month. The New York Times today reported the situation in a front page article (3).