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Begich Statement on Shell Permits for Preparatory Activity in Beaufort Sea


Begich released the following statement today in response to the announcement from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to allow Shell to move forward with preparatory drilling activities in the Beaufort Sea.

“Today’s federal decision to green-light offshore oil exploration in Alaska’s Arctic is yet another step forward on the path to responsible development of oil and gas. I share the disappointment of most Alaskans that Shell won’t be able to achieve our goal of hitting oil this year, but the stage is set for success next year.”

“ After waiting for completion of fall whaling, award of Shell’s final application for a permit to drill (APD) in the Beaufort Sea should reassure us of the federal government’s faith in the ability of Alaska industry to conduct exploratory drilling operations safely in the Arctic Ocean.”

Begich spoke about Shell’s Arctic exploration drilling program this Wednesday morning on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” emphasizing Shell’s commitment to complying with regulations set by the Obama Administration.  Prior to this APD, the last exploration well drilled in federal waters of the Beaufort Sea happened in 1993. 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimates that the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas hold 26 billion barrels of oil and 100 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

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