Statoil Growth Plan in North America Doesn’t Include Arctic Oil

Statoil ASA, one of a handful of energy producers planning to drill in U.S. arctic waters off the coast of Alaska, doesn’t expect to produce crude in the region before 2020, the company’s head of North American operations said.

State-controlled Statoil isn’t counting on output from the Alaskan arctic to meet its goal of producing the equivalent of 500,000 barrels a day of oil in North America by 2020, Bill Maloney, executive vice president of Statoil’s North American exploration and production business, said today in an interview taped for Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.”

“We put a pause on Alaska,” Maloney said in the interview at the IHS CeraWeek energy conference in Houston today. “We don’t count on any arctic production in the prognosis of production.”

Royal Dutch Shell Plc. abandoned plans to drill in the region this year after one of the company’s two rigs ran aground and it failed to get a U.S. permit in time for drilling season. Statoil plans to await further results from Shell and may postpone drilling until 2015, the company has said.

“I think we all agree it’s wise to learn from each other,” Tim Dodson, Stavanger, Norway-based Statoil’s executive vice president of exploration, said in an interview yesterday. “It’s better to let time work for you rather than against you.”

Statoil has developed positive relationships with U.S. regulators as it plans to more than double its North American production by 2020, Maloney said in the Bloomberg Television interview. The company is producing an average of the equivalent of 195,000 barrels a day of oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico and owns interests in onshore areas from North Dakota to Pennsylvania, Maloney said.

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