Out in the cold: investor risk in Shell's Arctic exploration

Last edited 21 May 2012 at 9:57am
Publication date: 
21 May, 2012

The Arctic Ocean is the last frontier for international oil companies, with rapid reductions in ice cover (due to climate change from the combustion of fossil fuels) making the exploitation of newly discovered offshore resources possible, at least theoretically. Royal Dutch Shell’s (Shell) proposed drilling programme in Alaska this year is seen as leading the charge into Arctic exploration by major oil companies.

As with many frontier oil projects, questions remain about the medium- and long- term economic viability of Arctic projects, which are dependent on high oil prices and fiscal subsidies. Arctic projects also present new and unique challenges for the oil industry, not least when it comes to responding to and dealing with an oil spill.

This report is published by Platform, Greenpeace and FairPensions.

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