UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


ISR Professor responds to Shell Arctic drilling decision

29 September 2015

Arctic Iceberg (c) IstockPhoto

UCL ISR Director Prof Paul Ekins OBE, commented in response to Shell's recent decision to abandon oil drilling operations in the Arctic saying:

"I hope that Shell’s halting its operations in the Arctic is recognition of the risk of spending resources on exploration and production in this region"

Professor Ekins' comments come as the Anglo-Dutch oil company announced it made insufficient discoveries to warrant further exploration in the current prospect, although it believe there was still great potential for exploration in the Chukchi Sea basin.

Prof Ekins further commented that UCL ISR's modelling has previously indicated that Arctic resources were expensive, and would not be used in a cost-optimal scenario that was consistent with a carbon budget that gave a 60% chance of remaining within 2oC, referring to work published in Nature earlier this year.

He added that exploration in the region and "engaging in extraction will cause reputational damage as being inconsistent with mitigating climate change."


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