Press Release

Another oil company leaves the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Australian company 88 Energy becomes the latest oil company to reject drilling on the sacred coastal plain

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA (June 1, 2022) – In another development illustrating the industry’s lack of interest in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the only oil company that acquired a tract on the coastal plain during last year’s lease sale has canceled its lease without explanation, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The move was made by Regenerate Alaska, a division of Australia’s 88 Energy, and comes just days after Hilcorp and Chevron canceled older leases on a smaller tract of land owned by an Alaska Native corporation. In response to today’s announcement, The Wilderness Society issued the following statement from Alaska State Director Karlin Itchoak:

“This is positive news for the climate and the human rights of Indigenous people whose survival depends on a healthy, thriving calving ground for the Porcupine Caribou Herd, and further proves that the oil industry recognizes drilling on sacred lands is bad business.

“Last year’s lease sale—which was hurriedly held just weeks before President Biden was inaugurated--was a dismal failure for Donald Trump’s Interior Department when no major oil companies submitted bids because they know the public opposes drilling in the refuge and leases there are a terrible investment,” Itchoak added. “Only the state of Alaska, which acquired most of the leases through the state-owned Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, is still clinging to outdated thinking.

“Congress must take action to prevent another lease sale and permanently protect the place known to the Gwich’in people as The Sacred Place Where Life Begins.”