Skip to main Content

Arctic offshore oil drilling temporarily halted over sea ice concerns

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published September 10, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell has temporarily halted offshore oil drilling in Arctic waters off the northwest coast of Alaska.

The Associated Press reported Monday that drilling was halted "as a precautionary measure" because of concerns over sea ice. Shell Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith told The Associated Press that drilling was stopped as a precautionary measure in accordance with its ice management plan.

Smith said that when the ice, which in total measures about 30 miles by 12 miles, has moved on, the Noble Discoverer will reconnect to anchors and resume drilling.

Shell's Burger Prospect is 70 miles off the northwest coast of Alaska. Drilling began about 4:30 a.m. Sunday following months of delays.