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Shell Monopolizes Arctic Drilling Rights in Alaska Print E-mail
by Tom McGregor    Wed, Jul 30, 2014, 08:36 PM

President Barry Obama has made it more difficult for Texas oil drillers to purchase oil exploration rights in the Arctic Circle near Alaska. Acordingly, a foreign oil company, Shell, is gobbling up drilling rights in the region.

The Houston Chronicle reports that, "Oil companies that locked up more than 1.3 million acres of the Beaufort Sea for drilling in 2007 have since relinquished nearly half that territory. The industry’s appetite for tapping those Arctic waters may be waning even as the Obama administration plans to auction off more of the area."

Susan Murray, Oceana's Pacific deputy vice president, is quoted as saying that, “Nearly half of the leases purchased in the 2003 to 2007 lease sales have been allowed to expire as company after company decides to forgo or delay activities in the U.S. Arctic Ocean.”

According to the Houston Chronicle, "Oil companies have ceded rights to drill on roughly 584,000 acres, despite paying tens of thousands _ and sometimes much more — in bonus bids for individual leases in auctions since 2003, according to an analysis of government data by the conservation group Oceana reviewed by FuelFix. And now, all but seven of the 141 still-active oil and gas leases in the Beaufort Sea along Alaska’s northeast coast are partly or completely held by a single firm, Shell Oil Co. The tracts, which generally span about 9 square miles, include territory the company began drilling in 2012."

U.S. Arctic waters are considered to contain an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

To read the entire article from the Houston Chronicle, link here:

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