Pete Slaiby, vice president of Shell Oil in Alaska says drilling in Alaska will be the "most complex, most difficult wells we've drilled in company history."
He also said Shell's assets are developed to work in ice. But, is Shell Oil ready if there's an oil spill? The world realized in 2010 that the oil industry was not ready with adequate technology to stop the gulf oil spill.
Can Shell Oil handle an Arctic oil spill? CNN'S Miguel Marquez reports.
Alaska drilling: From 'hell no!' to ... 'OK'
Edward Itta, a powerful Eskimo leader, looks out at the icy Arctic Ocean stretched out under a fuzzy orange sun that refuses to set this time of year.
"This is our garden," said the former mayor of the North Slope Borough, a county-style government covering an area as big as Wyoming.
Itta's garden, the Arctic Ocean, is filled with the whales, seals, walruses and fish the Inupiat Eskimos still need to survive.
But many Inupiats think "their garden" is being threatened by an international oil rush to get at what may be a treasure trove of more than 25 billion barrels of crude.