Shell CEO says decision to drill in Arctic required careful evaluation of risks

IndustriesAssociated Press

The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell says he decided to drill for oil off the coast of Alaska after a careful evaluation of the risks.

In an interview with the BBC broadcast Wednesday, Ben van Beurden says that although drilling in the Arctic carries an "increased risk profile" because of the fragile environment, the reservoir Shell is exploring is "from a technical perspective relatively easy."

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He said: "You have to make a judgment, can I do this in a responsible way? That is a bit of a personal journey that I had to go through ....We believe that we can responsibly explore for hydrocarbons in Alaska."

Shell has received permission to drill at two sites in the Chukchi Sea. Activists including Greenpeace have protested, arguing it's unsafe.