Murkowski Welcomes Interior’s Decision on Shell Exploration

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today issued the following statement on the Interior Department’s final approval of Shell’s drilling program in the Chukchi Sea this summer.

"Today’s announcement is welcome news for Alaska’s economy and our nation’s energy security,” Murkowski said. “Shell has spent years preparing to fully explore its leases in the Arctic offshore. The responsible development of those resources will create jobs and provide a badly needed long-term supply of oil for the trans-Alaska pipeline, ensuring that we continue to be a major energy supplier well into the future.”

Alaska’s Arctic waters hold an estimated 24 billion barrels of oil and 104 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. In July, Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, advanced the Offshore Production and Energizing National Security (OPENS) Act to ensure that Alaska receives a fair share of the revenue from development in the federal waters off its shores.