Shell says it will not drill in Alaska Arctic in 2013

Plagued with problems with both its drilling rigs and its oil spill containment vessel, Shell Alaska announced Wednesday that it will not conduct offshore drilling operations in the Alaska Arctic this year.

The decision to “pause” Arctic drilling during the upcoming ice-free months of summer will allow the company to repair and retool its troubled rigs and prepare for future operations in a program that has already cost the company nearly $5 billion.

The company will continue to do offshore scientific research and conduct meetings with villagers across the North Slope in an attempt to keep the program moving and ready for resumption “at a later stage,” company spokesman Curtis Smith told the Los Angeles Times.

“We will remain active in other areas as well, and those plans will become more specific over time,” he said.

Read full text at LA Times