Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Good news! Cairn Energy's Arctic drilling misadventures are over

After spending more than a billion dollars and risking ecological disaster in the biggest oil exploration campaign ever in the Arctic, Cairn has found no commercially extractable oil at all, putting its entire Arctic drilling project in doubt.

The astronomical costs (and the company's plummeting share price) mean that there will be no further exploratory drilling off Greenland for the foreseeable future.

Not by Cairn, anyway.

Other oil companies - including Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Statoil - all hold licenses to drill in an untouched area off the north-east coast of Greenland. Elsewhere in the Arctic, Shell plans to start drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas of Alaska next year, and Gazprom in the Pechora Sea north of Siberia.

Cairn's demise is good news for the environment but we must remain vigilant.

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