Natural resources
Obama intends to ban the sale of offshore development rights in the Arctic and Atlantic
© RIA Novosti. Sergey Guneev

Obama intends to ban the sale of offshore development rights in the Arctic and Atlantic

US President Barack Obama intends to prohibit further sale of the rights to develop most of the US offshore areas in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, TASS said quoting a Bloomberg report.

According to Bloomberg, the ban applies to oil and gas fields, including most of the sites in the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea north of the Alaskan coast, but will not affect ongoing projects in these regions, including those of Dutch-British Royal Dutch Shell, Italian Eni, Spanish Repsol and other companies. Canada plans to impose a similar ban following the United States, the agency said.

According to the report, this decision may be officially announced today, December 20. The president intends to take advantage of US law that gives him broad powers in this area, including the authority to ban further oil and gas licenses in US offshore areas.

Environmentalists have repeatedly asked Obama to ban the expansion of offshore production, pointing to the damage oil spills can inflict on nature of the Arctic.

During his election campaign, President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly stated his intention to free the US oil industry from its shackles and lift restrictions on oil exploration on federal lands as well as to develop a strategy that will ensure the US a leading position in energy, Bloomberg reports.