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Shell Says It Will Cease Alaska Offshore Arctic Drilling

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Elaine Thompson
/
AP
The oil drilling rig Polar Pioneer is towed toward a dock Thursday, May 14, 2015, in Elliott Bay in Seattle.

  Royal Dutch Shell PLC says it's ceasing exploration in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future.The company says an exploratory well drilled to 6,800 feet found oil and gas but not in sufficient quantities.

Shell USA President Marvin Odum says in an announcement early Monday in The Netherlands that it's a disappointing outcome for that part of the Chukchi Sea basin. Shell drilled in 150 feet of water about 80 miles off Alaska's northwest coast.The exploratory well was the first in the Chukchi in 24 years.

Environmental groups oppose Arctic offshore drilling and say industrial activity and more greenhouse gases will harm polar bears, walrus and ice seals.

Over the summer, protesters in kayaks unsuccessfully tried to block Arctic-bound Shell vessels in Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

Shell has spent about $7 billion on Arctic offshore development on the hope that there would be deposits worth pursuing.

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