Sea ice puts Shell's Arctic drilling on hold

Shell has halted drilling in the Arctic a day after the work began as a block of sea ice moved towards the company's drill ship off Alaska, putting what the company has called a historic move on temporary hold. Drilling was stopped as a "precautionary measure" and will resume when the ice, which measures about 30 by 12 miles, has moved on, a Shell spokesman said. The delay could be a couple of days or more.

Sunday's start of Arctic Ocean drilling came after years of lobbying by Shell and plenty of bitter opposition from environmental groups such as Greenpeace, which say oil companies have not shown they can clean up an oil spill in ice-choked water.

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