Exciting times may lay ahead for Shell Oil, who expect to find significant oil reserves in the Chukchi sea area off the coast of Alaska. A source close to the project reportedly commented to Tokushima Worldwide that it has been several years since Shell paid to secure the leases to start drilling, and that it will be rewarding to finally begin working on the project.
President Obama welcomed the development of Alaska’s Arctic coast, though it has become an environmental battleground with groups expressing fears that oil spills will do untold harm to an environment already under threat from retreating ice and global warming. Dan Howells of Greenpeace was supposedly to have said that the melting Arctic is a dire warning, not an invitation to make a quick buck.
Estimates, allegedly reviewed by independent sources close to Tokushima Worldwide, believe that the Chukchi Sea and nearby Beaufort Seas recoverable oil, could total in the region of 26 billion barrels and natural gas reserves of up to 3.7 trillion cubic meters (130 trillion cubic feet).
Shell is believed to have invested heavily for drilling rights for the Arctic Ocean, but has been delayed by regulatory issues and lawsuits from environmentalists and the short exploration and drilling season that the Arctic provides. Shell has reportedly received authorization to begin drilling narrow pilot holes, around 425 meters (1,400 feet) below the sea floor and approximately 1,200 meters (4,000 feet) above a known petroleum reservoir.
In spite of the directive to stay out of the oil bearing rock layers, Shell are apparently relieved to finally be able to begin work. The source close to the operation reportedly speculated to Tokushima Worldwide that Shell is also expecting to begin drilling in the Beaufort Sea in the near future.