By November 17, 2015 Read More →

Statoil abandons US Arctic petroleum leases off northwest Alaska coast

Statoil giving up 16 Chukchi Sea leases


Alaska Gov. Bill Walker says he is very disappointed with the Statoil decision. Statoil photo by Harald Pettersen.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska _ Statoil, a Norwegian-based oil company says it is abandoning plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean off the northwest coast of Alaska.

The company made the announcement on Tuesday that it’s giving up 16 of its company-operated leases in the Chukchi Sea.

“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,” says Tim Dodson, executive vice president for exploration in Statoil.

Statoil says it is also abandoning its stake in 50 Chukchi leases operated by ConocoPhillips which are due to expire in 2020.

The announcement comes after a late September decision by Royal Dutch Shell PLC to abandon drilling in U.S. Arctic waters “for the foreseeable future.”

At the time, Shell cited disappointing results from an exploratory well and a challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.

Statoil had not drilled exploratory wells on any of its leases.

The company said in a new release that studies, research and activities which have taken place in Alaska, have given Statoil significant skills and expertise that can be leveraged in other opportunities in northern environments in the future.

“Our understanding of the challenges and opportunities has increased considerably over the last years. This gives Statoil a unique position and experience which the company will continue to apply going forward,” says Dodson.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker says in a statement he’s disappointed by the Statoil decision.

With files from the Canadian Press

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