Since 2005, we have pursued an extensive programme of environmental studies in Arctic waters and onshore in Alaska. The traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples is invaluable to how we approach our work in the region. As we plan our activities, village elders and local expert hunters help us identify important species, sensitive habitats, archaeological sites and special areas such as caribou calving grounds and gathering points for migratory birds.
We have developed innovative technologies and conducted many scientific studies to enable us to work responsibly in this challenging offshore environment. This approach includes the use of unmanned aerial drones and marine acoustic recorders, and ecosystem studies combining traditional with scientific knowledge.
We foster and fund research to protect marine life, such as the computer-assisted identification of marine mammal calls, and the development of bubble-curtain technology to protect whales and other species from undersea rig and drilling noise.
Maintaining a respectful dialogue with local residents is critical to the success of any project. So is sharing tangible benefits. In subarctic Siberia, the Salym joint venture (Shell interest 50%) with Gazpromneft started producing oil in 2005. The project’s success is based on combining Shell’s technological leadership with the experience and local knowledge of the Russian oil and gas industry. More than 80% of the equipment and supplies used are locally sourced and more than 95% of the staff are Russian, with most hired from the Salym area.