U.S. Chamber of Commerce says Federal regulation harms Alaskan oil and gas industries
Shell recently decided to discontinue its operations to find oil and natural gas in the area, prompting the DOI’s decision.
“In light of Shell’s announcement, the amount of acreage already under lease and current market conditions, it does not make sense to prepare for lease sales in the Arctic in the next year and a half,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
According to the Chamber of Commerce, federal regulations have created limited interest in the area, which a National Petroleum Council report from earlier this year claims could yield more than 34 billion barrels. of oil.
Some of the barriers Shell faced to drilling one well were limits to exploratory wells that were closer together than the 15 mile buffer zone required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, regulations requiring a redundant rig on site as a containment strategy in case of spills and numerous lawsuits filed by activist groups.