Guest post by David Middleton
Firstly, how can reopening the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea OCS areas to leasing be disrespectful to “market forces”? Opening up an area to leasing doesn’t somehow impose an obligation on oil companies to bid on leases in those areas.
Secondly, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips didn’t pull out of the U.S. Arctic OCS due to free “market forces.” Shell pulled out for a combination of reasons: 1) operational challenges, 2) the disappointing results of their first wildcat in the Chukchi Sea and 3) regulatory malfeasance. ConocoPhillips pulled out of the U.S. Arctic OCS for one reason: regulatory malfeasance.
Had market forces been the driving force, Shell would have drilled several exploratory wells years before the Obama administration grudgingly allowed them to drill one.
Thirdly, if the “market argues against Arctic Ocean oil development”, why is Eni forging…
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