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Shell to end Alaska offshore Arctic drilling

Royal Dutch Shell is to end exploration in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future.

The company said an exploratory well drilled to 6,800 feet found oil and gas, but not in sufficient quantities.

In an announcement in The Netherlands, Shell USA president Marvin Odum said it was a disappointing outcome for that part of the Chukchi Sea basin.

Shell drilled in 150 feet of water about 80 miles off Alaska's north-west coast. The exploratory well was the first in the Chukchi in 24 years.

Environmental groups oppose Arctic offshore drilling and say industrial activity and more greenhouse gases will harm polar bears, walrus and ice seals.

Over the summer, protesters in kayaks unsuccessfully tried to block Arctic-bound Shell vessels in Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

Shell has spent about seven billion dollars (£4.6bn) on Arctic offshore development on the hope that there would be deposits worth pursuing.

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