Statoil CEO Eldar Sætre. Image courtesy of Ole Jørgen Bratland/Statoil.

Norway’s Statoil said Tuesday it is pulling out of its leases in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.

The company will exit 16 operated leases and its stake in 50 leases operated by ConocoPhillips, all located in the Chukchi Sea.

Statoil will also close its offices in Anchorage, Alaska.

The leases were awarded in 2008 and expire in 2020.

The company said it no longer considers the leases “competitive within Statoil’s global portfolio.”

“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.

Houston-based ConocoPhillips told Reuters on Tuesday that plans for its Chukchi Sea leases were placed on hold prior to Statoil’s decision and will remain on hold.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Interior denied Shell and Statoil extensions for their current offshore Alaska leases and canceled two Arctic offshore lease sales, citing a lack of interest from upstreams.

Statoil’s Arctic exit comes nearly two months after Royal Dutch Shell announced it would pull out of the Chukchi Sea for the foreseeable future after a disappointing find at the Burger Prospect.


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