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Shell Suspends Drilling for Arctic Ocean in 2013


An effort to give the United States a new source of domestic oil and refill the trans-Alaska pipeline took a hit Wednesday when Royal Dutch Shell PLC announced it will suspend offshore petroleum drilling in the Arctic Ocean for 2013.

Shell drilled last year in both the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast and in the Beaufort Sea off the state's north coast.

But problems before and after drilling, culminating with the grounding of one of Shell's two drill ships, left in doubt whether the company could make repairs in time to drill in 2013. Shell Oil President Marvin Odum answered that question with the announcement that the company would "pause" exploration to prepare equipment and vessels for drilling in the future.