For countless millennia, impenetrable ice lay over the Arctic's vast oil resources. In the last few decades, this ice has been melting.
In 2005, we at Shell entered Alaska with a determination to satisfy the world's demand for safe, affordable energy. This year, the Obama Administration recognized both the Arctic's enormous untapped potential and Shell's unique position as natural leader to reach that potential, and granted Shell unrivalled access to drill the vast snowy wastes of the North.
At long last, the Arctic's oil fields lie wide open for use by all humankind, and Shell is humbled by the responsibility of assuring that this promise is fulfilled. We've got our finest drilling technology at the ready, not to mention a tremendous enthusiasm for the new and the promising. Let's Go!
Shell recognizes that the Arctic presents new rafts of challenges, including extreme temperatures and weather, a remote location, a fragile ecosystem, etc. But we have a long history of operating in only slightly less violent conditions around the world, and we feel that this apprenticeship more than qualifies us to address the Arctic's supreme challenges. We are proud of our engineering, and confident that our technology can, with proper care, withstand the most brutal Arctic conditions.
We do also recognize that the Arctic is part of our delicately balanced global climate system, and that further disruption to this system—directly, or indirectly through increased use of fossil fuels—could entail unfortunate consequences. We take such worries extremely seriously, but we must balance these possibilities against the opportunity certainties that Arctic exploration affords.