The Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) has acquired over 20 offshore leases from Royal Dutch Shell.
ASRC president and CEO Rex Rock Sr. told Alaska Public Media last week that the firm acquired leases in Camden Bay where the Sivulliq and Torpedo prospects are located.
ASRC acquired a total of 21 leases from Shell as well as Shell’s data for the sites.
Shell said last year it would not explore offshore Alaska or the “foreseeable future” after its most recent exploration effort failed to turn up a commercially viable find.
Shell said that while its Burger J well in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea found indications of hydrocarbons those indications weren’t sufficient to warrant further exploration.
Rock told Alaska Public Media that his firm is not discouraged by the results of Shell’s Chukchi Sea effort.
“We all know how the Chukchi effort ended, yet we know there is still tremendous potential in Alaska’s offshore,” Rock told Alaska Public Media.
The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
Shell officially relinquished the majority of its Chukchi Sea leases in May 2016, citing high operating costs in the region.
The U.S. Department of Interior said late last week that it has excluded leases in the Chukchi or Beaufort Seas from its 2017 to 2022 offshore lease plan.
The DOI said it has excluded the two offshore areas due to “the fragile and unique Arctic ecosystem and the recent demonstrated decline in industry interest.”
The decision is subject to a 60-day congressional review and could potentially be rewritten by President-elect Donald Trump.
ASRC said on Monday that it’s “disappointed” by the exclusion of the Chukchi and Beaufort Sea areas from the five-year lease plan.
“This plan ignores the needs and voices of the Iñupiat who support responsible Outer Continental Shelf development…..This plan cripples our ability to answer the mandate from Congress under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 which requires us to return benefits to our people,” the ASRC said in a statement.
The ASRC added that the decision will not impact its recently acquired Camden Bay leases.