The Beaufort Sea. Image courtesy of NASA/Flickr.

Chevron confirmed Thursday it has indefinitely shelved plans to drill in the Beaufort Sea in Canada’s Arctic region due to oil price volatility.

The company told Canadian regulators it will withdraw from a drilling rules hearing for Arctic projects and will not explore the EL 481 block, located about 155 miles from Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories.

“Due to a number of factors, including the level of economic uncertainty in the industry, Chevron has put its drilling plans for EL 481 on hold indefinitely,” the company said in the letter to regulators.

Chevron has been developing its EL 481 exploration plan over the last few years and expected to spud the well in 2020.

The company paid over $88 million for the exploration rights at the 508,000 acre block.

“All Chevron’s exploration activities must be competitive in our global exploration portfolio, which is regularly reviewed against a range of criteria,” Chevron said.

Other explorers are still moving ahead with Arctic drilling plans despite uncertainty over oil prices.

Canada-based Imperial Oil said it is still moving forward with plans to drill in the Beaufort Sea with its partner BP, Reuters said.

The partnership has not made a final decision on the exploration program but expects drilling to start in 2020.

Exxonmobil holds a 69.6 percent stake in Imperil Oil.


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