TOTAL S.A. (ADR)(NYSE:TOT) and Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR)(NYSE:RDS.A) have widely differing views on drilling for oil in the Arctic region, which came out in the open on Wednesday.
According to a report in the Financial Times, Total CEO Christophe de Margerie as quoted as saying that he felt that drilling in the Arctic region was risky for the environment.
Rival Royal Dutch Shell on the other hand is still committed to its plans to carry out drilling and exploration activities off the coast of Alaska.
In an interview to the Financial Times, Total's CEO said, "“Oil on Greenland would be a disaster. A leak would do too much damage to the image of the company.”
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MarketWatch quoted a spokesman for Shell saying that "the Arctic has significant untapped potential and will play an increasingly important role in meeting the energy challenge.
He said the company was “qualified to do the job right.”
Threat of oil spills and damages sustained to oil rigs while drilling, are increasingly making drilling and oil exploration companies wary of undertaking such activities.
There are enormous costs involved in such accidents. While it does lasting damage to the environment, the expenses involved in cleaning up the damage are humongous and it has an adverse impact on the image of the company.
Shares in Total surged 1.04 percent while that of Shell closed up 0.16 percent on Thursday.