BP Declines to Participate in Greenland Oil Licensing Round

BP Plc, the energy company responsible for the biggest oil spill in U.S. history in the Gulf of Mexico, said it won’t seek exploration licenses in Greenland for the time being.

“After doing the first stages of investigation, we decided not to compete,” BP spokesman Robert Wine said in a telephone interview today. He declined to comment on the reasons for the decision.

Greenland Premier Kuupik Kleist said yesterday the country’s latest Baffin Bay oil license round had attracted the industry’s largest companies, and that it’s “only a matter of time” before explorers find oil. The area off Greenland’s western coast may hold as many as 18 billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Cairn Energy Plc already hold licenses in Baffin Bay from a previous round. Cairn said Aug. 24 that although its first well failed to find oil, it is encouraged by gas found in thin sands that is “indicative of an active hydrocarbon system.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Swint in London at bswint@bloomberg.net.

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