Shell exec in charge of Arctic drilling program quits

David Lawrence, Royal Dutch Shell's executive in charge of North American exploration -- including last summer's troubled Arctic drilling program --  has announced his resignation. The Financial Times reports that Shell denies he was fired.

 Shell said David Lawrence, 57, who is responsible for all Shell’s exploration activities in the Americas, was leaving the company “by mutual consent” in the middle of the year. He has been at Shell for 29 years. ...

A person familiar with Shell said it was “obvious” that his departure was linked to Shell’s well-publicized failures in the Arctic. Shell declined to comment on this connection. The company has spent some $5 billion on its Alaskan campaign without completing a single well.

Mr. Lawrence did not respond to a request for an interview.

A year ago, Lawrence told Dow Jones Newswires the upcoming drilling off Alaska would be "relatively easy." Chukchi Sea drilling was started in 2012 but the program was plagued by problems and has been called off for this year.

Read more at Financial Times: Shell's Alaska exploration executive quits