Shell dispatches first ship in Alaska drilling fleet

Shell has dispatched the first ship that is part of the fleet that will do exploratory drilling for gas and oil in the Arctic. The company announced on Thursday that the Arctic Challenger, one of the dozens of support vessels for the oil rigs, has left from Seattle and is heading towards Alaska, NU reports.

From this summer Shell wants to drill in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska with two platforms. The United States authorities recently gave the company conditional permission for the exploratory drilling. Shell expects that many billions of barrels of oil may be won there, which is essential to ensure energy supply in the future.

The oil company's plans have been met with strong opposition from environmental organizations. They worry that something may go wrong during drilling and result in an environmental disaster. Protesters have been demonstrating in the port city where Shell's fleet is assembled for weeks.