Environmental group Greenpeace claims Shell has spent billions of dollars on arctic exploration plans but not much on oil-spill response.
The U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced this week it approved Shell's oil spill response plan for the Chukchi Sea.
The U.S. government said its approval requires Shell to stop drilling 38 days before ice would cover the drilling site. The company was required to draft plans for a worst-case scenario. Its plans include a capping and capture system and the ability to kill the well in the event of a spill.
Greenpeace said Shell's oil-spill response plan is full of "self-styled solutions" that have never been tested. The advocacy group claims most of Shell's draft looks "look like they've been drawn by a child."
"Shell has already spent over $4 billion on its Arctic oil program," Greenpeace said. "Judging by Shell's spill plan, it's clear they haven't spent much of that money on working out how to stop the Arctic being ruined by leaking oil."
There's an estimated production potential of around 700,000 barrels of oil in the region where Shell said it wants to drill up to six wells.