Shell to pause Alaska drilling programme

Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:42pm EST

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Feb 27 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell said it would halt exploration drilling activity in Alaska's Beaufort and Chukchi Seas for this year and plans to resume it at a later stage.

"Our decision to pause in 2013 will give us time to ensure the readiness of all our equipment and people following the drilling season in 2012," said Marvin Odum, director, Upstream Americas.

Shell has already spent $4.5 billion on its programme to seek oil in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, but a series of challenges led the U.S. Department of Interior to launch a review of the company's programme earlier this year.

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