Shell Oil has begun a staged ramp-down for its exploratory drilling operations in the Beaufort Sea while an injunction ordered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is in effect. At this time, the company is evaluating the impact of laying off some of the 700 employees involved in the operations. Alaska Operations Manager Sue Moore says if the injunction remains in place, layoffs of some of those workers will be necessary. However, she adds, the company is still hoping that they will avoid taking that step and that drilling will take place this year.
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau