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Big Oil Skips Trump’s Last-Minute Arctic Drilling-Rights Auction

  • Alaska development corporation was most active participant
  • Sale netted $14.4 million for tracts spanning 553,000 acres
Updated on

The Trump administration’s unprecedented auction of Arctic drilling rights Wednesday netted just $14.4 million from three bidders, with major oil companies steering clear of the sale.

Amid low crude prices, fears about a backlash from the public and the prospect of regulatory uncertainty, just two oil companies placed bids on leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain: Knik Arm Services LLC and Regenerate Alaska Inc. They were joined by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, a state-owned economic development corporation that last month approved spending $20 million on coastal plain leases but has never spearheaded an oil exploration project.