by Mike Ross
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Associated Press reports that the Obama administration is suspending drilling in the Arctic Ocean until next year, which interferes with Shell Oil's plans to begin exploratory drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas this summer.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says in a report to be delivered to the White House Tuesday that he will not consider applications for permits to drill in the Arctic until 2011.
An administration official familiar with the plan said Salazar wants to allow further study of proposed drilling technology and oil spill response capabilities in Arctic waters.
In a written statement Wednesday night, Sen. Mark Begich said, "I am frustrated that this decision by the Obama administration to halt offshore development for a year will cause more delays and higher costs for domestic oil and gas production to meet the nation's energy needs."