Judge bars oil, gas drilling in Alaska's Chukchi Sea

07/21/2010 | Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model)

U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline halted the development of oil and gas wells in Alaska's Chukchi Sea, saying the Minerals Management Service failed to fully study the effects of natural-gas drilling before it auctioned off the leases in 2008. A Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary came out the highest bidder during that lease auction, offering $2.1 billion. Curtis Smith, a spokesman for Shell Alaska, said the company is reviewing the decision and its impact on activities this year and next.

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