Shell and Gazprom are gaga over the potential financial bounty—but environmental and climate disaster—of Arctic oil drilling, that is abundantly clear. But Total, the fourth-largest publicly-traded oil company in the world, apparently thinks differently.
Making the rounds this afternoon are the remarks in the Financial Times by CEO Christophe de Margerie (pictured above) in which he says the risk of an oil spill from Arctic drilling was too high and the consequences if a spill occurred "would do too much damage to the image of the company."
Not to mention the environment and local people, but there there...
Greenpeace, currently in a heated campaign to stop Shell's Arctic drilling plans, seized upon the statements. Deputy Campaigns Director Dan Howells said in a press statement,
The fact that French oil giant Total has admitted Arctic drilling is too dangerous shows just how big a risk companies like Shell are taking with their investors money. Shell has already spent billions trying to drill in the Arctic only to abandon its 2012 plans at the last second after repeated mishaps. That is money that could be invested in safe, renewable energy.
Expect to see more from the likes of Greenpeace highlighting the risk to oil company investors from Shell's pursuit of Arctic oil in coming months.