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Arctic Explorers Retreat From Hostile Waters With Oil Prices Low

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 09.25.26From an article by Mikael Holter published 14 Jan 2015 by Bloomberg under the headline:

“Arctic Explorers Retreat From Hostile Waters With Oil Prices Low”

When Statoil ASA (STL) acquired the last of three licenses off Greenland’s west coast in January 2012, oil at more than $110 a barrel made exploring the iceberg-ridden waters an attractive proposition.

Less than two years later, the price of oil had been cut by almost half and Norway’s Statoil, the world’s most active offshore Arctic explorer in 2014, relinquished its interest in all three licenses in December without drilling a single well…

“At $50, it just doesn’t make sense,” James Henderson, a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, said in a Jan. 12 phone interview. “Arctic exploration has almost certainly been significantly undermined for the rest of this decade.”

After spending $6 billion searching for oil off Alaska over the past eight years, Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) in October asked for an extension of licenses as setbacks including a stranded oil rig and lawsuits risk delaying drilling further. Cairn Energy Plc (CNE) spent $1 billion exploring Greenland’s west coast in 2010 and 2011 without making commercial discoveries, and OAO Gazprom (OGZD) has shelved its Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea indefinitely on cost challenges.


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