Shell’s Arctic Challenger oil containment barge

Shell’s Arctic Challenger oil containment barge at the Port of Bellingham International Dock in Bellingham Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Shell is dropping plans to drill in the Arctic waters off Alaska this year after a troubled drilling season marked by equipment failures and ongoing investigations by the Coast Guard, Interior Department and the Department of Justice.

Shell Oil Co. President Marvin Odum said the company was suspending its plans to drill in the region this year but would be back “at a later stage.”

“Shell remains committed to building an Arctic exploration program that provides confidence to stakeholders and regulators, and meets the high standards the company applies to its operations around the world,” Odum said in a statement Wednesday, Feb. 28. “We continue to believe that a measured and responsible pace, especially in the exploration phase, fits best in this remote area.”

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