18 December 2014, News Wires – US supermajor Chevron confirmed that it is shelving plans indefinitely to drill in the Beaufort Sea in Canada’s Arctic due to uncertainties in the oil industry.
The company said in a letter to the National Energy Board, Canada’s top regulator, that it would withdraw from a hearing on drilling rules in the Arctic because it has backed off plans to explore the EL 481 block, located about 250 kilometres north-west of 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.
A Chevron spokesperson later confirmed that it is not proceeding with advance regulatory approval in the Beaufort Sea for now.
“All Chevron’s exploration activities must be competitive in our global exploration portfolio, which is regularly reviewed against a range of criteria,” the company said in a statement.
Plans for the well on EL 481 had been in the works for years, with an expected spud date in 2020. Chevron paid more than C$103 million for rights to explore the 508,000-acre block.
Separately, ExxonMobil-controlled Imperial Oil told Reuters on Wednesday that there has been no change to its plans to drill in the Beaufort Sea in partnership with BP. The duo have yet to make a final decision on the proposed drilling campaign, which would also commence in 2020.