Oil Companies Split On Arctic Development

Monday, March 11 2013

Two oil companies with offshore leases in the Alaskan Arctic both clarified their plans for future development last week, shortly after the announcement that Shell Oil wouldn't be drilling in the region this summer.

Conoco Phillips says it isn’t backing off its plan to drill in the Alaskan Arctic in 2014, as Reuters reports. A Conoco Phillips spokesperson told Reuters that the company is taking Shell’s experiences into account, but that its own drilling program is substantially different.

Meanwhile, Statoil says it definitely won’t be drilling until 2015, and possibly not at all. Statoil’s vice president told the Dow Jones Wire that the company could walk away from its leases in the Alaskan Arctic if drilling proves too risky. For now, the company is waiting to see how Shell and ConocoPhillips fare in 2014.

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