Now that Spanish oil company Repsol has relinquished the last of its 93 leases in the Chukchi Sea, only one leaseholder is left — Shell. Why the company is holding onto a single lease after losing billions of dollars and any reputation for competence it might have had is anybody’s guess.
Some of these questions had anwsers in a Discovery mag back in the early 90's that dealt with the tars sands in Alaska. It said that there was a large supply in the sands, but wasnt economically sound to try and get it out. Also, if we were using the sands as a way to get oil, then oil has not only peaked, but was the sign we were at the end of oil. Fracking is after using the tar sands...
Its not over till its over.
Arctic oil is extremely expensive to extract and transport. Current oil prices don't cover that cost let alone allow for profit. When oil prices rise the oil companies will be heading north again.
Eternal vigilance will be required.
The "Climate Crisis" is not needed to go to war with Russia. Russia has pushed itself right the edge their own border threatening the new NATO military placements there. Russia is preparing to attack Latvia and Estonia to continue expanding their empire. Russia is daring to interfere with ISIS. These aggressions are intolerable. Russia is suffering from a dictatorial Eastern Orthodox Christian leader who is homophobic and interfering with business leadership. Russia does not even promote gays and transexual persons in their outdated military. The Russia leader has humiliated himself many times by sitting for 3 1/2 hours answering questions from people all over the country. Such weakness can be easily defeated with limited surgical nuclear strikes. Someday freedom and democracy will be victorious in Russia and their equally dangerous ally, China.
Someone give the dim-witted munkey a banana?
Russia's surely aggressive enough. But the major aggressor in all this is certainly the US, which violates verbal agreements in pushing NATO east, has destabilized and invaded a series of nations at Russia's border in an effort to disable Russian access to hydrocarbons (except gas, for the most part), caused a coup in the Ukraine, resumed expansion of nuclear weaponry against written and signed agreements, instituted massive global spying and information filtering practices, and set up and run a gulag of torture facilities through Europe and the Near East.
Imagine what all of our responses would be were Russia doing anything close.
Corporate behavior never made sense to me from a strictly profit driven perspective. In many cases what they were doing were losing profits. Then about 30 years ago I read a small essay by John Kenneth Galbraith in which he stated that the idea that corporations were run by their executives to maximize profits and shareholder dividends is a myth and that they are run to maximize the benefits that accrue to the executives, monetarily and psychologically.
The privately owned oil industry is a suitable example. To maximize profits they should cut expenses and sell their cheapest oil first. Executives don't receive most of their benefits from salary or dividends. They receive most of their benefits in the form of stock. The price of the stock is most important to them because the price to earnings ratio can be as high as 60-1. They can make up to 60 times the dividends by selling the stock. Stock prices are tied to assets as well as profits. The oil that is in the oil company's reserves that can be profitably sold is part of their assets. If it costs more to extract and refine the oil than is profitable on the world market then that oil cannot be included in proven reserves and cannot be considered an asset and therefore will not raise the stock price. As long as the price of oil is high the executives will have the company explore for oil and keep what is already proven reserves in the ground to keep their assets and therefore the stock price high. When oil prices are low the high cost oil disappears from assets and the stock price and therefore the benefits that accrue from their sale by executives also disappears.
State owned oil companies run with different motives therefore the behavior of Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Russia, Venezuela and others is different than Shell or Exxon. Their behavior may be geopolitical as well as economic. I think Saudi Arabia understands that all the oil now in reserves cannot be used and since it has cheap easily extracted and refined oil, they had better sell it while they can. I am sure there are geopolitical reasons also that we can only speculate about.