The Alaska Department of Natural Resources said in a statement late this afternoon that it has denied ExxonMobil’s application “to construct an ice road in the former Point Thomson Unit area.”
In a release from the DNR commissioner’s office, the department said the Point Thomson leases expired in August, but despite that fact “ExxonMobil applied for permission to construct an ice road to transport a drilling rig onto the expired lease to drill for oil and gas.”
“It is unfortunate that ExxonMobil’s efforts to force a solution on the Department of Natural Resources over its repeated and strenuous objections may have led honest Alaskans to believe that this drilling effort might actually take place. The state does not allow any party to drill on its lands without the state’s permission,” DNR said.
DNR said while ExxonMobil has challenged the state’s Point Thomson decisions in court, “it is not in the state’s best interests to allow them to proceed until a court determines whether or not the state’s actions were proper.”
DNR said Division of Oil and Gas representatives “are actively negotiating with representatives of the companies who previously owned the leases in this area.” DNR said those negotiations “are not impeding the resolution of the lawsuits by the court.”
See full story in Nov. 23 issue of Petroleum News, available to subscribers online at noon Friday, Nov. 21 at www.PetroleumNews.com