Another oil major abandons Alaska Arctic drilling plans

Statoil Alaska Chukchi Sea Map

After Shell in September said it would cease its offshore exploration efforts in Alaska, another oil major has decided to follow suit.

Namely, Norway’s largest oil company Statoil on Tuesday said it has decided to exit Alaska following recent exploration results in neighbouring leases.

The leases in the Chukchi Sea are no longer considered competitive within Statoil’s global portfolio, so the decision has been made to exit the leases and close the office in Anchorage, Alaska, the company said.

Tim Dodson, executive vice president for exploration in Statoil, said: “Since 2008 we have worked to progress our options in Alaska. Solid work has been carried out, but given the current outlook we could not support continued efforts to mature these opportunities.”

Statoil will relinquish 16 operated leases, and its stake in 50 leases operated by ConocoPhillips, all in the Chukchi Sea. The leases were awarded in the 2008 lease sale in Alaska and expire in 2020.

Alaska’s Governor Bill Walker said: “We are disappointed in Statoil’s decision to not pursue further offshore development in the Chukchi, and understand it is largely tied to Shell’s decision to terminate its offshore drilling efforts in Alaska as well. This further emphasizes the need to develop our onshore opportunities, such as the 1002 section of ANWR.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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