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Statoil follows Shell out of Alaska

Statoil follows Shell out of Alaska
Statoil has followed Shell in vacating the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, after finding the region economically unsustainable.

The company will leave 16 US federal Chukchi Sea leases, after the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement refused its petition to suspend the leases until the region became profitable.

The agreement would have allowed Statoil, as well as Shell, to retain leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas beyond the former’s expiry date in 2017.

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

“Low oil prices may have contributed to Statoil’s decision, but the real project killer was this administration’s refusal to grant lease extensions; its imposition of a complicated, drawn-out, and ever-changing regulatory process; and its cancellation of future lease sales that have stifled energy production in Alaska,” said US Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee chair Lisa Murkowski. “These actions threaten to undermine Alaska’s economy, our security, and our environment.”