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Norway's Statoil announced Tuesday it is ending its seven-year operation in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska's northern coast without drilling a single well.

The company announced the 16 leases it holds in the Chukchi Sea are "no longer competitive" within the company's portfolio. The company will return its leases to the U.S. government and close its office in Anchorage.

"Since 2008 we have worked to progress our options in Alaska. Solid work has been carried out, but given the current outlook we could not support continued efforts to mature these opportunities," said Tim Dodson, executive vice president for exploration in Statoil.

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