Statement: Chevron, Hilcorp reportedly spend $10 million to get out of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge leases
DENVER -- Chevron and Hilcorp have paid $10 million to terminate their leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, according to the Anchorage Daily News, citing page 21 of the 2021 Arctic Slope annual report. A Chevron spokesperson confirmed “Chevron’s decision to formally relinquish its legacy lease position” to the Alaskan newspaper, while Hilcorp did not comment to the outlet.
Neither oil company showed up to the lackluster January 2021 lease sale held in the final days of the Trump administration. The land in the lease reportedly terminated by Chevron and Hilcorp is the site of the only test well ever drilled in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to caribou, polar bears and migratory birds and a sacred site to the Gwich’in people. It is one of the last remaining pristine areas in the United States.
This move comes after several years of pressure on Chevron from the Gwich’in Steering Committee and environmental groups. Most recently, Environment America delivered more than 40,000 petitions calling on the oil company to pledge not to drill there.
In response, Public Lands Campaign Director Ellen Montgomery issued the following statement:
“No company should ever drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We must preserve our most pristine areas for future generations as we move toward a future powered by clean energy, rather than fossil fuels. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of America’s most special places and if we allow any part of it to be destroyed, we will lose something irreplaceable.
“Multiple banks and insurance companies have announced that they will not finance or insure drilling operations in the refuge, sending a signal that drilling there is bad for business. If, as reported, Chevron and Hilcorp have recognized that there is no future in drilling in the Arctic Refuge, that is a promising sign. And if oil companies don’t want to drill there, it’s time for Congress to cancel the leasing program for good.”