Statoil is leaving Alaska.
After nearly eight years in the state, the Norwegian major plans to relinquish its stake in some 66 leases in the Chukchi Sea region and close its regional office in Anchorage.
The company cited poor exploration results in the region for its decision. Those results are almost certainly the lackluster showing by Shell, which has also departed the region.
"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," Statoil Executive Vice President for Exploration Tim Dodson said in a prepared statement this morning. The company said it would leverage its experience in the Alaska Arctic to improve its future operations in other "northern environments" around the world. "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," Dodson said.
Statoil will drop 16 wholly owned leases and a stake in 50 leases operated by ConocoPhillips. The leases were awarded in 2008 and would have expired in 2020.
- ERIC LIDJI
See story in Nov. 22 issue, available online Friday, Nov. 20 at www.PetroleumNews.com