Actionable news
0
All posts from Actionable news
Actionable news in STO: STATOIL ASA,

Big Oil Abandons $2.5 Billion in U.S. Arctic Drilling Rights

Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00Playback Rate1Chapters
  • Chapters
Subtitles
  • subtitles off
Captions
  • captions settings
  • captions off
Fullscreen

This is a modal window.

No compatible source was found for this video. Foreground --- --- Background --- --- Window --- --- Font Size 50% Text Edge Style None Font Family Default Defaults Done Advertisement
Why Big Oil Is Giving Up on the Arctic

After plunking down more than $2.5 billion for drilling rights in U.S. Arctic waters, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, ConocoPhillips and other companies have quietly relinquished claims they once hoped would net the next big oil discovery.

The pullout comes as crude oil prices have plummeted to less than half their June 2014 levels, forcing oil companies to cut spending. For Shell and ConocoPhillips, the decision to abandon Arctic acreage was formalized just before a May 1 due date to pay the U.S. government millions of dollars in rent to keep holdings in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska.

The U.S. Arctic is estimated to hold 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, but energy companies have struggled to tap resources buried below icy waters at the top of the globe.

Shell last year ended a nearly $8 billion, mishap-marred quest for Arctic crude after disappointing results from a test well in the Chukchi Sea. Shell decided the risk is not worth it for now, and other companies have likely come to the same conclusion, said Peter Kiernan, the lead energy analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit.

"Arctic exploration has been put back several years, given the low oil price environment, the significant cost involved in exploration and the environmental risks that it entails," he said.

80 Percent

All told, companies have relinquished 2.2 million acres of drilling rights in the Chukchi Sea -- nearly 80 percent of the leases they bought from the U.S. government in a 2008 auction. Oil companies spent more than $2.6 billion snapping up 2.8 million acres in the Chukchi Sea during that sale, on top of previous purchases in the Beaufort Sea.

Shell relinquished 274 Chukchi leases and others in the neighboring Beaufort Sea. In doing so, the company forfeits what it paid the U.S government for the rights to drill in those tracts -- and the...


More