Daniel Politi writes at Slate:
After waiting six years and spending $4.5 billion, Shell took its first step in drilling in the Chukchi Sea, 70 miles off the coast of northwest Alaska in what could mark the beginning of a new wave of exploration in U.S. offshore Arctic waters.
Shell announced that it begun drilling the “top hole” of an exploratory well early Sunday morning, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The company will drill around 1,300 feet deep but will not be able to tap the hydrocarbon deposits until an oil spill containment barge is on site. That means the well could be completed next year.
Environmental groups have long opposed drilling in the Arctic. . . .