A Norwegian oil and gas company is delaying plans to explore for oil offshore in the Alaska Arctic until at least 2015 because of concerns about regulatory challenges faced by rival and sometimes partner Shell Oil Co., according to a company spokesman.Oh look, it's another business wanting to get to work in the US that won't because Interior Secretary Ken Salazar keeps throwing out regulatory requirements that no one can understand or possibly apply towards a valid business plan. This one is offshore up by Alaska.
"The bottom line is, in light of the significant uncertainty regarding Alaska offshore exploration, we've decided to take what we believe is a prudent step of observing the outcome of Shell's efforts before finalizing our own exploration decision time frame," Schwartz said.In other words...StatOil is going to sit back for at least three years and watch how many hoops Salazar makes Shell Oil Company jump through to see if exploratory oil drilling is actually a feasible opportunity or just an example of the Obama administration deceiving the industry.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last week announced that regulators had approved a drilling permit that allows Shell to begin construction of a single well without a key oil spill response vessel on the scene. But Shell can't drill deep enough to hit oil until the spill containment barge passes inspection in Washington state and makes it to the Arctic. The Environmental Protection Agency last week awarded Shell a one-year revised air pollution emissions permit for its Chukchi drilling rig, the Noble Discoverer.Hoops to jump through, temporary permits that can be pulled at a whim, expensive counter measures for every occasion. I'm getting the impression that Salazar wants the oil companies to heavily invest just so the EPA can pull the rug out from under them at the opportune time to cause as an egregious loss of capital as possible.
Perhaps StatOil thinks so as well:
"We do think it's important to observe whether they will be able to obtain all necessary permits, secure regulatory approvals and kind of demonstrate exploration operations can be reliably and cost efficiently conducted in the field," he said.