An oil industry consortium that includes BP and ExxonMobil suspended a Canadian arctic exploration program in the Beaufort Sea region due to insufficient time to begin test drilling before its lease expires in 2020, according to Seeking Alpha.
ExxonMobil's affiliate, Imperial Oil, told Canada's National Energy Board that it decided to suspend its Beaufort Sea exploratory program and that it would seek to have its current lease extended retroactively to 16 years, reports the firm. Imperial is the operator of the project.
BP is exploring parts of the Beaufort Sea in Canada’s Arctic under a joint operating agreement with Imperial Oil Ventures Resources Ltd. and ExxonMobil Canada Ltd.
BP holds a 100% interest in two other exploration blocks in the Beaufort Sea. In total, BP holds an interest in more than 8000sq km in active exploration licenses.
The suspension follows a similar decision by Chevron, in December 2014, to halt its own exploratory drilling program in the Beaufort Sea after its projects had been slowed by regulatory hurdles and very high extraction costs.