07/26/2012 10:58 am ET

Time Ticking On Shell's Offshore Arctic Drilling

(Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell's plans to drill exploratory wells in remote Arctic waters off Alaska are being hampered by its failure to secure key regulatory approvals and lingering sea ice, which have already led to a three-week delay.

Shell had hoped to use this year's brief, ice-free season to drill up to three exploratory wells in the remote Chukchi Sea off northwestern Alaska and up to two in the Beaufort Sea off the state's northern coast. The company has similar plans for 2013.

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