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Shell CEO says 'personal journey' led to Arctic exploration

  • Author: Associated Press
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published August 12, 2015

LONDON — 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."

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.