Trump plans to expand offshore drilling in the Arctic

The US president Donald Trump is preparing an executive order to open up new areas of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans to oil and gas drilling. Trump is working on the process just months after former President Barack Obama banned offshore drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic.

In December 2016, Obama indefinitely blocked drilling in US waters vast areas. According to environmentalists, the industrial activity in the Arctic harm whales and other wildlife and increase the threat of global warming.

The Trump order could start the process of undoing Obama's actions. According to reports, Trump himself would probably have to approach a court to remove the ban. If this prohibition was removed successfully, we would see the sale of new offshore oil and gas rights in the Arctic and the Atlantic.

It is estimated that the US Arctic contains 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 Tcf (trillion cubic feet) of natural gas. This move could benefit energy companies (XOP) and Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron Corp. (CVX), Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Statoil. This move could also benefit the offshore drilling companies such as Seadrill (SDRL), Transocean (RIG), Diamond Offshore (DO) and Noble (NE).

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