The oil majors refused drilling rights to an area of 2.2 million acres (about 11.3 sq km), i.e. nearly 80% of all licenses purchased at auction by the U.S. government in 2008, data from the U.S. Department of the interior consulted by Bloomberg.
Only the oil industry has spent time on getting drilling rights in the territory of 2.8 million acres in the Chukchi sea in more than $2.6 billion they had Previously acquired the rights to drilling operations in the Beaufort sea.
The refusal of licenses is the result of the decline in oil prices, resulting in a leading oil producers have cut spending on exploration, to freeze the ongoing projects and postponing new ones. Shell and ConocoPhillips issued a waiver until may 1, the date of the next multi-million dollar payment to the US government for leases in the Chukchi sea, just North of the coast of Alaska.
“This move is consistent with that taken by the earlier decision to refuse from the development of offshore fields in Alaska in the foreseeable future, commented to Bloomberg Shell representative Curtis Smith. “It also reflects the high costs of development of areas off the North coast of Alaska, as well as compliance standards that enhance the Supervisory authorities”.
ConocoPhillips April 26, waived his right to work at 61 sites in the Chukchi sea, said the representative of the company Christine of the young pilots’. Statoil has waived its right to work on 16 sites in the Chukchi sea. Last November the company abandoned its rights with direct equity participation on 50 sites on the Arctic shelf of the United States, referring to the fact that these assets “lost their attractiveness”. Canadian oil and gas company, Iona Energy Inc. renounced the rights to land in the Chukchi sea on March 31. Italy’s Eni SpA also renounced the rights to four sites in the Chukchi sea on April 28.
The oil reserves in the U.S. part of the Arctic shelf are estimated at 27 billion barrels., natural gas of 132 trillion cubic meters.