Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it has stopped exploration for oil in the Arctic after "disappointing" results off the coast of Alaska.

The oil giant spent $7 billion (£4.5bn) on the Arctic offshore development in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. But Shell did not find enough oil in what it thought would be a key well to warrant further exploration in the area.

Announcing the decision, Shell said it would not be exploring the area "for the foreseeable future".

"Shell continues to see important exploration potential in the basin, and the area is likely to ultimately be of strategic importance to Alaska and the US," said Marvin Odum, president of Shell USA.

"However, this is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome for this part of the basin."

Pulling out of the exploration project is likely to have significant financial repercussions for Shell. It says the extent of the impact will be revealed in its third quarter results.