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Dong: Arctic oil requires extraordinary safety

Companies will have to be unusually cautious when they go looking for oil in the Arctic region, and this goes for Dong as well, if the company starts drilling on the Arctic.

If as a company you decide to do any kind of drilling on the Arctic, there will be very special security requirements, says Dong, and stresses that the company is not doing any investigative drilling in Greenland yet, but is continually assessing its two licenses.

“The industry is at a very early stage in relation to oil investigations in Greenland, and it is too early to speculate about investments and insurance. We are represented there with two licenses. We are assessing these areas technically and commercially and have at this stage not decided to perform investigative drillings. If at some point we end up drilling, it will happen with the utmost consideration for safety and environment, and in close cooperation with the authorities in Greenland, the society of Greenland, and the local people,” writes Jan Terje Edvardsen, head of research activity at Dong, in an email to ShippingWatch.

The fall, Dong will participate in a series of scientific drillings operated by Shell. These will be ground drillings, which are different from the deep drillings performed when looking for oil. They will gather geological information, giving the participants in the consortium a better understanding of the underground, and Dong stresses that these are not investigative oil drillings.

This risk attached to finding oil in the fragile, Arctic nature was a focal point of Danish newspaper Berlingske on Saturday, which showed that the German bank West LB refuses to finance investigation or production in the northernmost parts of the Arctic. Moreover, the insurance company Lloyd’s has warned against the many and various risks, including environmental consequences, costs and difficulties with cleaning, and the problems of a possible oil spill spreading out across several countries’ territories and legislations.

“We are aware of the announcements from both Lloyd’s and West LB. We always operate with the biggest possible consideration for environment and safety. The Arctic is no exception. The sensitive Arctic environment ensures          

 

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