Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS) announced yesterday plans to abandon Arctic drilling off of the coast of Alaska in 2013 . . . President Marvin Odum of Shell described the decision as a pause, due to the need to ensure the readiness of the equipment and people to continue drilling in the future . . . Arctic drilling has been politically controversial over the last year, due to environmental concerns . . . Shell’s two drill ships have suffered serious accidents throughout the fall and winter months, and are therefore being sent to Asia for repairs which means they will not be ready to drill over the summer months . . . the U.S. Coast Guard, Justice department, and Interior department are reviewing Shell’s operations in the Arctic after a number of groundings, violations, failed spill-containment equipment . . . after a $4.5 billion investment and intensive lobbying to pursue the drilling, the announcement is a major setback to Shell, which planned to drill as many as 10 wells in 2012 but only managed to drill two . . . the pause paired with the 16 known violations by Shell will likely reinvigorate environmentalist efforts to halt all Arctic drilling.