Spill thwarts Shell, Statoil drilling plans in Arctic oil

Written by Bloomberg | Updated: Jul 30 2010, 04:51am hrs
BP Plcs disaster in the Gulf of Mexico will keep the planets biggest pot of untapped oil and gas under the Arctic ice for now as regulators toughen drilling rules and demand better ways to handle spills. Royal Dutch Shell Plc has had plans to explore off Alaska halted by both US authorities and a federal court ruling last week.

Norways Statoil ASA faces government restrictions on drilling in Arctic waters, while BP, responsible for the Gulf spill that prompted scrutiny of offshore drilling, has put off developing its Liberty prospect in the Beaumont Sea until 2011. There will be new regulations and requirements that we need to take into account, said Hege Marie Norheim, head of Arctic development at Statoil, Norways biggest energy producer.