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Oil Industry ‘Chilling Effect’ Seen After Lease Sales Scrapped

May 13, 2022, 2:23 PM

Offshore oil lease sale cancellations announced by the Interior Department are injecting new uncertainty into an already murky future for expanded federal oil and gas development, lawyers say.

“I’d expect it to have a chilling effect on the industry,” said Jason Hill, counsel at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in Houston. “There is no indication as to when they could acquire new leases. If you’ve got money to invest, you may look elsewhere in the world.”

The agency canceled offshore oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s Cook Inlet this week due to “conflicting” court rulings, ...