Shell relinquishes offshore leases in Alaska's Chukchi Sea
Company decided last fall to halt exploration off Alaska for the forseeable future
Royal Dutch Shell PLC confirmed Tuesday it will relinquish all but one of its federal offshore leases in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast.
Spokesman Curtis Smith in an email says the move is consistent with Shell's decision in September to halt exploration off Alaska's shore for the foreseeable future.
Smith says separate evaluations are underway for federal offshore leases in the Beaufort Sea, off Alaska's north shore.
Shell spent $2.1 billion US on 275 Chukchi Sea leases in 2008 and $7 billion US overall on Arctic offshore development. Shell was the only company actively drilling in the Chukchi.
An exploratory well drilled last year did not find oil in commercial quantities. Shell said high costs and an unpredictable
federal regulatory requirement also contributed to the decision to halt drilling off Alaska.